(Editor’s Note: The ARTBA Women Leaders in Transportation Design & Construction Council (WLC) was established in 2010 to help promote leadership and career advancement for these professionals through networking, mentoring, recognition and educational activities, both through the association and other stakeholders. Mary Beth Klein, national marketing manager with Dallas-based Trinity Highway, recently shared her thoughts about how the WLC has helped her career, mentorship and what she would like to see over the next 10 years. Here is a portion of the Question & Answer feature with Klein that appears in the May/June issue of ARTBA’s “Transportation Builder” magazine.)
Why should a woman consider a career in the transportation design & construction industry?
Klein: I’ve encouraged many young people, both women and men, to pursue this industry because of the numerous career opportunities. Design, construction, manufacturing—there are many jobs that are necessary to keep the industry going. I am in marketing, and I am always thrilled when I see a new installation of one of my products. It’s rewarding to know that your efforts are making a difference, advancing roadway safety, and improving transportation.
Best advice for young women in college thinking about a career in this industry?
Klein: Get educated, get involved and stay active. Become a reliable source for progressive ideas and accurate information. Don’t be afraid to attend meetings, join committees, and network as much as possible. It’s empowering to have connections across the country, in different fields than yours. You never know when you may need to reach out to someone for help with a project or committee, or when you can help someone else.
The industry is still dominated by men. Do you see this changing? What do women need to know about that?
Klein: Yes, I absolutely see this changing! I’ve been in the industry for over 10 years, and it’s refreshing to see all the talented, ambitious women stepping up. Women are an important part of the industry, and their perspective is instrumental to advancing transportation. I’d like to think that anyone can make it in this industry, as long as they are knowledgeable, hardworking, and dedicated to improving the world’s infrastructure.