'When I First Started I Was the Only Female': 20 Questions for Women in Construction

By Shameka Turner

Hard Hats. Strong Women. Building the Future.

Follow our blog to hear the stories of women working in construction in New York City at every level as we ask 20 questions to women working in construction.

Shameka Turner, Operating Supervisor

What is your trade?
I work for Con Edison

What was your first job in your trade?
I started out as a General Utility Worker.

What is your current job?
I am currently an Operating Supervisor.

What job do you want in the future?
I would like to further my career with Con Edison.

Why did you choose this trade? What led you to this trade? When did you realize you wanted to work in this trade?
My mother went to NEW and after graduation she was placed with Con Edison. She would always tell me to go to NEW and I never listened to her. I saw an article in The Daily News about NEW in 2005 and I decided that I wanted a career so I went to the orientation and the rest is history.

Is there someone in particular in your life that led you to this career?
My father retired from Con Ed and was so proud of me when I was hired.

Who inspires you?
My children inspire me.

What has been the most surprising part of being a woman working in a nontraditional career?
The most surprising part for me was having a job that I truly love.

What is your favorite part of your career?
My favorite part is helping people.

What is your most memorable moment working in your trade?
The most memorable moment was getting my CDL license.

What is the best company you have worked for?
Con Edison is the best company I have worked for.

What is your favorite project you have worked on?
My favorite project is helping customers during the Sandy Restoration.

What is the biggest challenge of being a woman working in your trade?
The biggest challenge was when I first started I was the only female.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the field since you started?
The biggest change is seeing more females out in the field.

What is your favorite tool?
My favorite tool is the truck that my department uses which is called a vactor. It is basically a vacuum on wheels.

What is your favorite hard hat sticker?
The only thing on Con Edison hard hats is the American flag.

What is your most valuable certification? What was the most challenging?
My most valuable certification was becoming a Mechanic A in my department. The most challenging was obtaining my CDL license.

What would surprise us about you?
What surprises people the most about me is the fact that I am 6'3 and cannot play basketball.