Local camp, made possible through a partnership between the Future Construction Leaders Foundation and SDG&E, introduces girls to careers in the construction industry.
Editor's note: Our company celebrates diversity, equity and inclusion every day and we are proud to share some of the company's efforts to diversify our future workforce in honor of Women's Equality Day. Women's Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which grants women the right to vote. The amendment was first introduced in 1878. In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day.
"Leading Builders and Building Leaders." That is the motto of the National Association of Women in Construction and for 13 years, Camp NAWIC San Diego has been doing just that, through local leadership from the Future Construction Leaders Foundation. Through this camp, NAWIC has been taking strides of change in the world by introducing young girls, grades 7-12, to careers in the construction industry.
For the year 2021, the future of the camp appeared to be in jeopardy, due to decreased funding availability. However, we were able to come through as the premier supporter, ensuring the camp would move forward in 2021. In addition to providing financial support, our female employees had the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and work alongside youth as mentors.
This non-profit and corporate collaboration allowed for fifty teenage girls to be trained in construction trades thus cultivating the futures of women in the construction industry. Seasoned mentors and role models were at hand, supporting these girls through their exploration of construction disciplines such as electrical, plumbing, sheet metal, surveying, and heavy equipment operation. Campers also learn the important concepts of team building and team approach. Most importantly though, these young girls were instilled with a greater self-confidence as they tackled challenging projects in an industry that is traditionally taught to be a “man's job”.
“Participating in NAWIC’s Camp these last six years has truly opened my eyes to construction and they have been the most amazing experiences I have had”, says Ana. “I am so fortunate to have experienced this great opportunity, because this camp exposes you to what construction is really about and you get to meet so many people who share their experiences regarding the industry.”
The collaboration between Future Construction Leaders Foundation and our company set the benchmark for what it means to build our future leaders. This camp and all of the efforts that went into making it possible, are a true reflection of how impactful an established non-profit and corporate partnership can be for the community.
Desiree Mccomb, SDG&E Maintenance Shop Supervisor, volunteered with Team SDG&E as a mentor at Camp NAWIC and was able to share her non-traditional career pathway at our company. From starting as a meter reader to participating in apprentice program to become an electrician, then substation electrician and now her current role at Kearny, Desiree was able to provide a unique perspective of what it’s like to work at our company in a traditionally male-dominated field industry.
“When I arrived to Camp NAWIC I was astonished, it exceeded all expectation I had”, said mentor Desiree Mccomb. “It was so nice seeing how much support and guidance the young ladies were receiving. I would have loved a program or camp like this when I was their age. It was a great experience and I look forward to being a part of the camp and other similar programs in the future.”
To learn more about Camp NAWIC, visit their website.
Launched by CEO Caroline Winn to inspire the next generation of women in STEM, our #BeThatGirl initiative has made significant progress increasing women representation at the company and continues to help grow a pipeline of diverse talent for the organization.
Women throughout our company are encouraged to get involved to share what inspired them to a career in STEM and mentor young women in the community as they pursue their goals in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.