Angel Allen is our Woman in Construction, she has learned and uses sustainable ways to build. She is moving the needle in construction through her experience with offsite solutions.
What attracted you to your role/position in the construction industry?
Construction is one of the few industries left that hasn’t seen much innovation in over 100 years. As a country, we are also facing not only a housing crisis but an environmental crisis. I became interested in redefining construction by way of panelization and modular design as a result of the lack of innovation in the industry, as well as in an effort to address the rising needs of the many families that are struggling to afford a home. By introducing new innovations and efficiencies into the home building process, we can create more affordable and sustainable housing for all, while also better respecting and caring for our natural resources. And by constructing more sustainable commercial buildings, we can be kinder to the environment and future generations.
What are your goals for the next 24 months?
My goals for the next 24 months are to continue to educate and spread the awareness of how to build in more sustainable ways. The more builders adopt better practices, the better the industry can become as a whole, allowing the benefits to reach more and more people.
What would you say to other women in construction about breaking the glass ceiling?
To other women, I would say “don’t lose yourself and don’t lose hope. The seemingly never ending battle to prove yourself can feel exhausting, but it helps to remind yourself that the greater the struggle, the greater the reward. Also, don’t let anyone change you. Staying true to yourself is the ultimate self-maintenance of power.”
What motivates you to work and play hard in this industry?
What motivates me is the desire to provide real change and value to the industry, as well as the joy in loving what I do. I love waking up with the ability to discover how the day will unfold, what challenges will present themselves to be solved and what new people I will meet. I also deeply appreciate the ability to have a positive impact on others, especially those that need a little more help.
Do you have a quote, mindful practice or inspiration that guides you forward?
I remember reading Maya Angelou’s work as a middle schooler and falling in love. I can almost recite maybe her most famous poem, Phenomenal Woman, by heart. It is the essence of this poem that imbued me as a young girl that I still carry with me today. Here is an excerpt:
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
Tell us about one of your wins or victories.
I married and started a family shortly after high school, but I was still determined to finish my education. As such, I became a “non traditional student”. My then-husband was in the US Air Force so naturally, we moved quite a few times and thusly, I transferred school several times. As a result, it took me a very long time to finally graduate with my degree in Management Information Systems. Getting my degree was my biggest victory, especially given that I had just given birth to my 4th child only 3 weeks prior to the end of my very last semester. I gave birth on a Wednesday and was back in class the following Wednesday and that year, I finally received my diploma, and with honors!