Monday, March 8th, 2021 is International Women’s Day.

The Construction industry is mostly made up of men. Women in the construction business is rare, they only occupy 10.3% 

According to Annie McEvoy of the New England Real Estate Journal “while thousands of men were serving our country women found new job opportunities in factories and shipyards. By 1943 hundreds of thousands of women worked in shipyards across the country, doing work traditionally reserved for men. Women operated huge cranes that moved entire sections of ships into place for final assembly and thousands worked as riveters and welders in the war plants.”

One of the very first women in the Construction industry was Emily Warren Roebling. Emily was an engineer and contributed to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge after her husband died. Her husband was the chief engineer during the building of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Emily is an incredible woman, she went to Europe to study the use of caissons for the bridge. Under her father in laws teachings, Emily developed her knowledge of strength of materials, stress analysis, and cable construction.

While her husband was sick, she dedicated her time to completing the bridge. She took over the day to day duties and acted as supervisor and project manager. The Brooklyn Bridge opened on May 24, 1883 and Emily was the first to cross it.

Emily was honored in a speech by Abram Stevens Hewitt, who said that the bridge was “…an everlasting monument to the sacrificing devotion of a woman and of her capacity for that higher education from which she has been too long disbarred.”