Acres Women in Construction – Meet Melanie Atwater

Acres is celebrating ๐–๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง ๐ข๐ง ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐–๐ž๐ž๐ค by highlighting the contributions of the wonderful women that make up our team!ย 

Get to know Melanie Atwater, a Journeyperson Carpenter with Acresโ€™ Industrial Department who enjoys the variety of work that comes with the construction industry.

๐ƒ๐ž๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐›๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ซ๐จ๐ฅ๐ž ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐ฃ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ง๐ž๐ฒ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐จ๐ง ๐œ๐š๐ซ๐ฉ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ.

My role mostly entails building forms and pouring and finishing concrete. My job also includes reading prints, calculating layouts and most recently tying rebar.

๐–๐ก๐ฒ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐ข๐ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐ข๐ง๐ญ๐จ ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง?

I stepped into the construction industry when I was working in home restoration. I had some exposure to carpentry and started my career by working for some renovation and home building companies. Now, Iโ€™ve moved into industrial construction and itโ€™s a great change of pace.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ž๐ง๐ฃ๐จ๐ฒ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐›๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ฃ๐จ๐›?

What I enjoy most of my job is being active and working outside, especially on those days when I wish I could be outside! I enjoy the change of tasks as well. Everyone is positive and great to work with, which keeps the quality of work excellent.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐๐ฏ๐ข๐œ๐ž ๐๐จ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ก๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž๐ง ๐ฐ๐š๐ง๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐จ ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ?

It gets better. Thatโ€™s the big thing to keep in mind when you enter an industry that is still mostly male dominated. Know that there is a place for you in construction, as much as the person next to you. Don’t tolerate harassment or stereotyping, because there are workers who will support you, treat you as an equal, and see that you succeed.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎโ€™๐ฏ๐ž ๐ž๐ง๐œ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ ๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฆ๐š๐ฅ๐ž ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐œ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ?

Still being such a minority in the trades, I think a lot of individuals still have preconceived ideas of what women are capable of. We don’t fit a box โ€“ some of us can lift very heavy things and some cannot. When you first start out, it may feel like you have to prove yourself and that youโ€™re capable of doing your job. Once I developed self-respect, I believed in myself and didnโ€™t shy away from doing or saying the right thing.

๐–๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฆ๐ž ๐š๐œ๐ก๐ข๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ฆ๐ž๐ง๐ญ๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ญ๐ข๐œ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ?

Something I am particularly proud of is when I was in my first year at Fairview College. I really struggled with crippling anxiety, and I didn’t think I was smart enough. I got through my 8 weeks being awarded with the Instructors Award of Excellence for being top of my year in theory, shop, and final project scores. It was a very validating moment for me.

If you are curious about how we do business, thinking of a future project, or ready to break ground now, request a call back from one of our Sales Consultants