Keller Hayes is the Director, Transportation & Construction GIRL an organization support at OffsiteDirt.com. Transportation & Construction GIRL was created to draw attention to women in the transportation and construction industry and prompt others to join. The goal is for women to push past the stereotypes and pursue a career in transportation and construction! She join us to tell us about her story, win's and what she would like to do in the next 24 months.
Keller grew up on a small ranch homesteaded by her grandfather. On the ranch, the entrepreneurial spirit was a daily way of living. She used those skills and lessons to build the largest women’s chamber in the country. Now, Keller coaches businesses in the construction and transportation industry and directs the program Transportation & Construction GIRL.
She learned early on that it was important to “Pay it Forward”. There is nothing greater than watching a young woman’s face light up and hear her say, “I can do that?”
In the next 24 months she would like to reach more girls to help them identify and pursue financially sustainable careers in construction and transportation. Transportation & Construction GIRL has opened the door to careers that girls never knew existed. One example is Elena. Elena had no connection with the construction industry. A random flyer from her shop instructor registered her for Career Week for GIRLs. During that week, she discovered that she wanted to be a Project Manager in construction. She realized she could work inside and outside, she could manage people, and she could make good money. She was able to shadow successful women in their careers. Through those connections, she got summer internships. She enrolled in CSU’s Construction Management program. And, because of her real world experience in the industry, she is ahead of her class. She has a career that she is looking forward to. Elena says, “Transportation & Construction GIRL was incredibly beneficial because I had no prior experience or knowledge of construction. TCG really motivated me to pursue a career in construction.”
Keller would tell other women that are attempting to break the glass ceiling to share their experiences with a young girl. There is nothing as powerful in propelling you forward as needing to set an amazing example for the generation behind you. She would also encourage them to reach out to organizations like Transportation & Construction GIRL. We have so many women that are eager to reach back.
She is totally motivated by the change happening in young women’s futures. One young woman came up to her sobbing after graduating from Career Week for GIRLs. She said, “I have been stocking shelves for minimum wage. I never thought I deserved any more than that. Now, I know I can do more.” One mother came to me in tears as well. She said, “You have opened my daughter’s eyes up to a much greater future than she had ever known existed. I know she will have a bigger impact on our world because of Transportation & Construction GIRL.” Yeah, that motivation is pretty great!
Her favorite quote is from Yoda in Star Wars. “Do or do not. There is no try.” It is sort of my reminder that we all need to take responsibility for our lives and our choices. And, when Keller commits, she need to be all in.
Keller's wins are about the girls we are impacting. Sela was collecting rocks when her friends were collecting dolls. Her world opened up when she learned she could be a geological engineer. She received the Florence Caldwell Scholarship - a 4 year scholarship. We were both doing the happy dance! Sela plans on being a geological engineer on Mars! Sela said, “I couldn’t be where I am today without Transportation & Construction GIRL.”
To learn more about the wins of Transportation & Construction GIRL, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0d01Om08XQ