North Branch Construction celebrates Kerry Eriksen and all women in construction, not only during the National Association for Women In Construction (NAWIC)'s 'Women in Construction Week', but every day!
Kerry is responsible for coordinating Information Technology systems at North Branch Construction. She has been with the company for 8.5 years. Prior to working at North Branch, she held various jobs as a painter and cabinetry finisher. Kerry’s appreciation for eye-catching buildings is sparked her interest in a career with a construction management company. As she’s learned what goes into actually building beautiful structures, she’s come to appreciate the intricacies of the functional aspects of construction as well. In her role as IT Support, Kerry is the first line of defense for IT-related crises and software operational questions. Kerry’s role is very important because every time she works with colleagues to solve IT problems, the need to escalate these issues to an external IT consultant is minimized, saving a significant amount of time and money. When issues are escalated externally, Kerry stays involved, providing background information and follow up, and keeping her colleagues informed as she sees the issues through to resolution. Kerry has recently been heavily involved in the implementation of a new company-wide Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, working with the project management, accounting, and marketing departments in transitioning to its use.
Kerry considers it gratifying when she can show someone a new, more efficient way of doing something, such as an operation in a computer application; and they express that it saved them time, energy, and frustration.
If she was to give one piece of advice to girls and young women interested in pursuing a career in construction, Kerry would say, “Don’t let self-consciousness about what you’re lacking in experience and knowledge prevent you from getting involved in learning experiences in construction. Everybody has to start as a beginner sometime. There will always be people who know more than you or have more experience than you, but rather than be intimidated by them, see them as resources. Observe them and ask them questions; it’s much more likely that they’ll be honored to help you than that they’ll belittle your limited knowledge or experience.”
The focus of Women in Construction Week, taking place from March 3-9, 2019, is to highlight women as a visible component of construction, while raising awareness of the opportunities available and emphasizing the growing role of women in the industry.