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Tag Archives: Women of NATE

Women of NATE Opens 2022 Education Scholarship

Women of NATE (WON) has started accepting applications for its 2022 Education Scholarship. The scholarship was designed to encourage and inspire more women to enter the tower and communications infrastructure construction, service and maintenance industry. WON is an initiative of NATE: The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association, a contractors’ membership organization.

With the WON initiative, NATE recognizes contributions of women in the tower and communications infrastructure industry. Two scholarships valued at $1,000 each will be awarded.

“Women of NATE is proud to offer all women a platform to help further their educational and professional goals,” said WON Chairwoman Andy Page Lee of Lee Antenna & Line Service. “We continue to support these future leaders as their contributions are critical to our industry’s success.”

Application documents must be received in the NATE office by Jan. 20, 2022. In addition to the one-page application form, applicants must provide an essay describing how the WON Education Scholarship would help them achieve their goals, a high school transcript, a letter of acceptance from the college or technical school the applicant will be or is attending, and a letter of nomination from a NATE member company.

WON Education Scholarship information is available at https://natehome.com/women-of-nate/won-education-scholarship/. Award recipients will be announced on Feb. 21, 2022, in conjunction with the NATE Unite 2022 convention in Las Vegas.

Career Path of a First-Generation Structural Engineer

By Jyoti Ojha, P.E

Editor’s note: This article first appeared in the Aug. 4 issue of Women of NATE Today newsletter.

Jyoti Ojha, P.E.

Did you know that roughly 49.5 percent of the world’s population is women? According to an article published by Institute for Women’s Policy Research (2018), only 7.2 percent of women worked full-time in male-dominated occupations in the United States. Male-dominated occupations are defined as those that include 25 percent or less women. In the report, engineering is the most male-dominated profession, as women engineers comprise only 15 percent of the engineering workforce. Being a woman engineer in a male-dominated industry has been a challenge in my professional life. Coming from minority group has made it even more challenging.

My career story starts with pursuing a degree in civil and structural engineering in 2003, when my father submitted my application to appear for the entrance exam for an engineering college. Like most teenagers, I had no knowledge of what I desired to do as an adult or as an occupation. I was leaning toward possibly pursuing a career in nursing. Even though civil engineering was not my first professional choice at that time, I completed three years at a technical college in Nepal, receiving a civil engineering associate’s degree.

No one in my family was in the engineering field, and I was a first-generation college graduate. After coming to United States to further my career, I continued my education, earning a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. Although I had the choice of changing to another field of study, I liked the challenge and wanted to succeed in structural engineering. Throughout my education and time spent in the engineering field, I noticed that there was no abundance of women in structural engineering in comparison to men. You can find more female engineers in other fields of civil engineering, such as water, wastewater, transportation and geotechnical, than in structural and construction.

It was a little difficult to obtain a full-time job in 2009 because of the economic recession. Most of my friends decided to continue with obtaining a master’s of science degree in lieu of finding full-time employment in their fields. While I was in college, I was able to gain one-and-a-half years of experience working as an intern for an engineering company, which included projects for nuclear power plants, before graduation. I was able to find employment in late 2009 in the utility and telecommunications manufacturing industry as a design engineer.

Having this intern experience, coupled with a high GPA and my dedication, played a large role in securing my first career employment. Once there, I noticed that only a few women in the drafting department and only one female engineer in the utility department: me. It really hit home that this industry was dominated by men, and I would have to work hard to prove myself.

Leaping forward in time from the first internship job to now (13 years), I have moved up in positions and have been with several companies in different capacities such as design engineer, project engineer, senior telecommunication structure engineer, structural project manager, technical director and now principal structural engineer. Everywhere I have been employed, the number of female engineers was always less than male engineers.

Looking inward at the telecommunications industry, I have seen a lot of women in customer service, business development, sales, drafting and project management, but I still see few women in technical and engineering departments. The typical challenge women engineers face, as a minority, is to be heard. Many times, their great ideas or results are not fully trusted, vetted or included. These challenges are both in the workplace and with clients. It is harder to be heard as a woman engineer and, in my opinion, there is room for improvement. I have seen many improvements within management, companies and individually, but looking more broadly, there continues to be a need for future generations of woman to overcome these challenges.

The Leadership Summit held by Women of NATE (WON) is greatly empowering women in our industry. The motivational stories published in each monthly journal is helpful for onboarding females into our industry. I look forward supporting women in our industry and possibly becoming a mentor to young women engineers who may be facing challenges in their careers. It would be my pleasure to support WON in all that it does and to learn from the experience.


Jyoti Ojha is a member of the Women of NATE Committee and a principal structural engineer at CommScope in Euless, Texas. She can be reached at [email protected].

Women of NATE Profile: Christy Hall

By the National Association of Tower Erectors

Hall

Among Christy Hall’s best skills are the ability to continue learning, multitask and build teams. As a Women of NATE member, she coordinates the organization’s mentorship program.

Christy Hall has been a member of the Texoma Contracting team since 2012. Prior to coming to Texoma Contracting, she worked for an airline and an information technology company. Although those were vastly different industries, Christy’s passion and focus on managing and delivering quality projects, building effective teams, providing outstanding service and exceeding customer’s expectations remains the same.

Hall is an active member of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), currently serving as the Women of NATE Mentorship Program coordinator and a WON Committee member, the Oklahoma Liaison for the Wireless Industry Network (WIN) and is a member of NATE’s Trade Show Committee. She is excited about the growth of and enthusiasm for WON. She looks forward to working with the women and men of NATE to strengthen WON’s grassroots movement to propel and provide more opportunities for more women to flourish in the industry.

Hall enjoys spending her leisure time at the gym and at home watching HGTV and college sports. Go Pokes!

What do you think are the best skills that you bring to your job?
The desire to continue learning. Ability to multitask. Team-building.

What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
There is a solution to every problem.

What is a goal that you want to accomplish in the next year?
I would like to be certified to climb. And then climb to 20 feet. I’m afraid of heights.

What are you happiest doing, when you are not working?
The gym is my happy place. I enjoy spending time at home. And anyone who knows me, knows that I like to unwind with a glass of wine.

What is your favorite line from a film?
You’ve Got Mail is my favorite movie. And I love the line, “I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings. It reminds me that life is about the relationships you build and choosing little moments over big things.

What are some causes that you care about?
My church is very involved in community outreach. So I volunteer when I can. I also volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. And because I have a family member with Alzheimer’s, I participate in their annual walk to raise money for research.

What job would you do if you didn’t have to make money?
Yoga instructor.

Favorite quote?
Every day is a gift.

What is the best place that you have ever traveled to and why?
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I actually traveled there for a six-month work assignment. I loved the vibe, the people, the weather. I learned to ski. And developed some lasting friendships.

What is your proudest moment at Texoma?
Becoming an officer. But I’m also super-proud for Texoma when we receive compliments from our customers.


Source: National Association of Tower Erectors.

Inaugural WON Mentorship Program Participants Announced

Women of NATE (WON) is elated to announce the inaugural participants of the WON Mentorship Program. The Mentorship Program is designed to help all participants climb higher together. After the outpouring of excitement and applications to participate in the program received from NATE UNITE 2019 attendees, mentors and mentees were matched and mentoring began in March.

Inaugural WON Mentorship Program participants include:  Miranda AllenChristie Anderson, Marsha Bartlett, Carolina BellinoCindy BenabderrahmanAriana DeCrescentisAmy DolceBrian HillsJordyn M. LadnerAndy Page LeeLesley LiarikosAmber MampLoui McCurleyJessica MinkBrenda MyersPaula NurnbergStephenie RansonetShama RayChris Rensburgh, Steve RoesslerApril Shipley-BrennerMonica VinkEric Walls

“Mentoring improves employee satisfaction and retention, makes your company more appealing to recruits, and trains your leaders. 71% of Fortune 500 companies have already established internal mentoring programs, realizing that a workplace mentoring program can serve an employee from the time they are newly hired, to being a senior executive,” stated Andy Lee, Women of NATE (WON) Committee Chairwoman. “Mentoring is a two-way street on which both the mentor and mentee receive substantial benefits. And the best part is, the WON Mentorship Program is FREE to NATE Members,” added Lee.

The WON Mentorship Program is designed to foster an exchange of ideas, expertise and camaraderie among NATE members at all levels. From emerging professionals to industry veterans, participants can grow both professionally and personally by learning from each other’s perspectives, discussing professional issues and supporting their peers in the resolution of their challenges.

“This program is open to both men and women, and as you can see, we have both represented in the inaugural class. With the demand for skilled employees increasing, WON believes it is critical to assist NATE members in attracting, retaining and growing their teams. Thus, the WON Mentorship Program was formed,” stated Miranda Allen, WON Committee Member and Mentorship Team Member.

The goal-oriented program is designed for participants to speak via phone, or in person if logistics allow, one to two times a month for a term of one year. During these calls, mentors and mentees will work through current goals and establish new goals based on the ongoing dialog during each call or meeting.

Interested WON Mentorship Program participants are encouraged to go to the WON Mentorship Program page on the NATE website, click on the Mentor & Mentee Questionnaire button, complete the questionnaire and then email it to [email protected]. This questionnaire will be used to make potential matches based on development goals and interests.

The WON Mentorship Team point of contact is WON Mentorship Team Member Christy Hall. Christy can be reached via email at [email protected] or by phone at 918-682-1435.

Women of NATE Holds Meeting with FCC Commissioner

Miranda Allen, CEO, Radiofrequency Safety International; Therese O’Brien, National Account Executive, TESSCO Technologies; Heather Gastelum, Sr. Manager, National Tower Safety & Operations, T-Mobile; FCC Comm. Brendan Carr; Paula Nurnberg, Chief Operating Officer, NATE; Andy Lee, Vice President of Operations, Lee Antenna & Line Service; and Shama Ray, CEO and Owner, Above All Tower Climbing.

Representatives of Women of NATE (WON), an organization within the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE), recently met with FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr and Policy Advisor Evan Swartztrauber at FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. to exchange views on key industry topics.

The topics of discussion included broadening nationwide telecom career path opportunities, workforce development and training, growth of women in technology, and the opportunities afforded, therein. The Commissioner was also provided with first-hand accounts of women in the telecommunications industry.

“It was an honor to meet with Commissioner Carr to discuss Women of NATE programs, initiatives and opportunities,” stated Andy Lee, chairwoman of the Women of NATE. “We appreciate the leadership role Commissioner Carr is holding at the FCC to streamline wireless infrastructure deployments, promote the expansion of rural broadband and support workforce development initiatives,” added Lee.

In attendance at the meeting were: Lee, vice president of operations, Lee Antenna & Line Service, Inc.; Miranda Allen, CEO, Radiofrequency Safety International; Shama Ray, CEO and owner, Above All Tower Climbing; Therese O’Brien, national account executive, TESSCO Technologies; Heather Gastelum, senior manager, National Tower Safety & Operations, T-Mobile; and Paula Nurnberg, chief operating officer, NATE.

The mission of the WON program is to foster an exchange of ideas, expertise and camaraderie among NATE members at all levels. The organization enables all members of NATE to achieve their full potential and contribute to the future development of NATE and the industry NATE serves. This program offers unique opportunities for men and women at all stages of their careers to convene and discuss their experiences and enables men and women to learn from others through partnerships by further delving into NATE’s professional network. WON is a professional initiative that champions the advancement of men and women across all NATE member disciplines by promoting leadership, recognizing excellence, and positioning women to be at the forefront of the evolving telecommunications industry. WON participation is open to all NATE members.

“Safety was at the forefront of all topics throughout the discussion,” said Allen. “Ultimately, WON wants to provide women equal access, embrace opportunities and ensure all industry personnel come home safely at the end of the day,” added Allen.