What does it mean to have a pioneering spirit? Does one need to be a settler of the Wild West to use the moniker? Who are the pioneers of today?
These are all questions that we ask ourselves. At Trotter & Morton, we have embraced the pioneering spirit for nearly a century. We build teams of pioneers; people that innovate, push boundaries, lead, overcome challenges and trail-blaze. International Women’s Month provides us an opportunity to focus on our female leaders within the construction industry, a group that is often forgotten in this male dominated sector. Women in the construction industry make up about 10.9%. In an industry filled with challenges, women continue to forge a path. Their pioneering spirit will lead the way for the next generation to step up into leadership roles.
“Get mentored by the leaders you aspire to be,” commented Christina Valdez, Corporate Controller for Trotter & Morton Group of Companies, when asked her advice for future female leaders. “They will provide you with wonderful support and guidance while you are growing in your role.” Valdez has been with T&M since 2009 in various accounting positions. She moved into the controller role in 2020. “I’m proud that I have continued my education while gaining experience in the real world. Continuous learning is something I firmly believe in, both for technical and personal growth. Hard work and dedication pay off!”
Kim Fisher, General Manager of T&M Facility Services, PDX added, “A pioneer in our industry is reflected by woman who know and trust their own voices and experiences. Continuous education and development with an inclusive bias will help cultivate this pioneering platform. Pioneers continuously develop and grow their passion as business develops, while never compromising who they are; I consider these attributes to be indicative of a pioneering spirit.” Fisher has been part of the mechanical/construction industry for nearly 14 years. She previously led her maintenance team to be key contributors in achieving an ACE award and played a hand in developing successful teams throughout the United States. One of the challenges Fisher focuses on to help her achieve goals is “winning the battle of doubting voices, sometimes my own”.
Fisher added as she considered the question of what it is to be a female leader, “I recognize my role as being not only rewarding in and of itself, but also as an opportunity to advocate for the inclusion of more women in the industry. Industrial business growth can be achieved by better reflecting the community we serve.”
“It’s so great to connect and work with other female leaders, hopefully in seeing us or working with us, we are encouraging other women to come and join [the industry]” said Jennifer Tremorin.“When I started in construction there were very few females in leadership positions, if any, so I had no real female mentors, but the industry has changed and is still changing. Tremorin is the Health, Safety and Environment Manager that primarily oversees the Industrial division within the company. She has been working in safety at T&M since 2015. “The best part of my job is that every day is different and with it brings new challenges. Of course, there have been some not so fun challenges. It’s not always easy to be the only woman on a jobsite or in a boardroom full of men. But, I can honestly say that the toughest times in my career so far have also been the most rewarding and have helped to define the employee I am today. The struggles make you realize what you don’t want and the obstacles make you work harder, be more prepared, and as a result learn more.”
All of these women embody the pioneering spirit that we value so highly at Trotter & Morton. Their contributions to their teams and organizations make way for more women in the industry to follow their example. This International Women’s month and every month, we celebrate the contributions women make to our Trotter & Morton family and the construction industry as a whole.