This episode features Jessie Houlihan, who is the president of Stahl Construction in Minneapolis, MN. Jessie’s passion for workplace culture development, education, empowering women, civil rights and social action, and the environment have led her to build a career that ties together STEM, sustainability, and business to create strong communities and ultimately make the world a better place.
Hannah and Shanna had a great conversation with Jessie about her background, how she got to where she is today, and women in C-suite leadership roles and non-traditional careers like construction and building design.
We asked Jessie why girls should think about going into fields like construction, architecture, engineering, and the built environment, and how these careers contribute to making the world a better place. Her answer is inspiring! We need new voices and thinkers in these fields who are interested in things like balancing construction with sustainability, contributing to a regenerative environment, and bringing new perspectives and ideas to the table. These careers have the potential to make a unique impact, and are ready for women to step in and lead the way.
Jessie talks about designing buildings and cities that are made of durable materials that will last a long time and contribute positively to communities. Buildings that have healthy air quality, are built to be sustainable, and help the people who use them feel connected to nature. We’re healthier when we’re connected to the environment!
There are so many different education and career options to pursue that contribute to this work. From working at the ground level on the actual construction of buildings, to the architects and engineers who design them, to people like Jessie who manage all the moving parts it takes to plan and create a community and its buildings.
How can girls get into these fields right now? Start with things like researching, reaching out, and getting involved. Set up a job shadow with a professional in the field you’re interested in. Find out what city planners do and engage with them about their work. See if they can come to your school or Girl Scout troop to talk about engineering, architecture, trades, city planning, or sustainable building practices. Just ask! Try it out!
We hope you’ll get as much out of this conversation as we did, and as always, stay tuned at the end for Would You Rather and Girls Pick!
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