Working out in the field as a construction manager, Dianna Barrella likes to be the first one on the job site every morning. She likes the ever-changing nature of the work, the variety of people she meets on each project, the opportunity to work with different teams of consultants, architects or engineers. Over the past 16 years she's spent at Turner Construction in Shelton -- almost her entire career -- Barrella has relished her roles, which have included overseeing jobs like in-house building projects at UBS in Stamford. But it took time to get there.
"When I started at Turner, I think I may have been a little intimidated, being the only girl out in the field," Barrella said. "But in the industry, that has changed. There's many more women now. The challenges are pretty much the same for men and women."
Construction has traditionally been a male-dominated business, with the small percentage of women who do join -- just 8.9 percent of the industry nationwide, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor -- often relegated to doing clerical or support jobs. In Connecticut, based on the state's demographics, it's likely the numbers are even lower, said Jacob Kovel, associate professor and chair of the department of construction management at Central Connecticut State University.
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