DB&B Community Spotlight: Gabrielle Eure and Jessica Fadden of C&S Companies
C&S Companies is a nationwide organization that has been building and innovating for over fifty years. They have won awards for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and for their quality infrastructures.
We continue to spotlight women throughout Women's History Month. This week we are featuring women in contruction. Meet Gabrielle Eure, a Senior Designer in Architecture and Interior Design, and Jessica Fadden, a Project Engineer.
What steps do you take to “break the bias” as a woman working in a male-dominant industry like Construction?
Gabrielle Eure: What I’ve learned when breaking the bias in this male-dominated industry over the last couple of years is honestly just to use your voice. You’re definitely there for a reason and your voice matters. I can't count how many times I was in construction meetings and was very subtle and just took notes and didn't say anything. I wondered why I felt so unseen and unappreciated in those types of situations– and it was because I wasn't using my voice. How can they know what I bring to the table if I don't first show it? So I think using your voice is super important.
Jessica Fadden: The fact that I'm a woman isn't an overriding thought as I go through my day-to-day activities. I think of myself and carry myself as a peer, an equal. Always. I never let the fact that I'm a woman make me feel any different or stop me from speaking up. From time to time I do encounter those who have clear bias against a woman being in my position. It happens. And when it does I deal with it head-on. I stand up for myself and for my peers and I let it roll off move on. In my experience once you set the tone that sexist behavior won't be tolerated most people will get the message and respect it.
What motivates you to advocate for women’s empowerment and equality?
Gabrielle Eure: I would say everything motivates me to advocate for equality empowerment. Women have such an integral role in society. Equality should be at the Forefront of what we’re striving for as women, as a culture, and society as a whole. I feel like as women it's our job to lift everyone up in the society that we live in. In different work environments we are seen as one of the minorities, so it's our job as women to lift other women up ‘cause we all started somewhere and I think it's important to build and continue to build the culture and the security that you feel and pass on to those who haven’t reached that yet.
Jessica Fadden: I was very fortunate to grow up surrounded by incredibly supportive family, teachers, and peers that advocated for me. So the thought never crossed my mind that there's anything I couldn't do because I'm a female. I do know that not every girl is lucky enough to have such an empowering upbringing, so anything that I can do to help those that maybe don't have the same support around them– I want to do. I know firsthand just how valuable it is and it's the least I can do to pay it forward for those that have supported me through the years.
Do you have any advice for women working in a similar industry?
Gabrielle Eure: My advice to women would be to use your voice, be present, ask questions, and know within yourself that you are where you are because you earned it, you deserve it, and you are supposed to be there. So there's no reason that you can't be your authentic self unapologetically every single day when it comes to work.
Jessica Fadden: The best advice I have is to embrace the diversity. Women bring a unique perspective and passion in such a male-dominated field and it may seem truly stronger as a whole. Though you'll likely experience tougher scrutiny in your career than a male counterpart this can also offer unique advantages. Embrace them.
In honor of Women’s History Month, who is an influential woman who has impacted your life?
Gabrielle Eure: Someone I look up to– and I know it's such a cliche but it's definitely my mom. She's super phenomenal. She’s confident yet she's humble, she's responsible and she's carrying. She's harsh when needed, but she's empathetic also, which I think is a great balance she has. I think she has all the characteristics of a good leader, and I think that’s important obviously in the workplace but also outside of the workplace but also outside of the workplace in your personal life. And it’s been obviously an honor because she’s my mom, but I’ve gotten to watch her grow. I think that’s super important, she’s always continuing to grow throughout her life personally and work-related. But I got to see it upfront and first-hand. I definitely aspire to be just like her when.. well I guess I am growing but as I continue to grow!
Jessica Fadden: I can’t say that there's one specific woman in my life that's been the most influential. I've had so many powerful female role models between my family, my teachers, and my peers and colleagues. There's no shortage of strong successful women around me, a fact that I find inspiring in and of itself. I strive to someday be counted among those that others look up to as a role model, as a supporter of women breaking the bias, and proving just how much value we can bring to roles that women have not traditionally filled. Thank you.