This was definitely the case for Marina Dishel, P.E., now a vice president with the Syska Hennessy Group's New York office.You see, Dishel was born, raised and educated in Russia, where, with very few exceptions, women make up approximately 50% of any profession or trade.
"So the biggest surprise to me when I came to this country was that being a [female] engineer was an exception rather than the rule," said Dishel
That said, language, rather than a gender barrier, proved her
greatest struggle.In any case, Dishel
can now look back and see how much more balanced the industry has become.
"On the past three large projects I've worked on, women occupied major managerial roles.Women in construction today are not an oddity, but an expected eventuality," she
"Looking back, nothing sticks out as unpleasant in dealing with my [engineering] colleagues, but dealing with contractors was something else," recalls Dishel
Similarly, Marina Dishel
, P.E., vice president, Syska Hennessy Group, New York, credits her
late parents-in-law with being guardian angels when her
son was young.
"When they passed away, we had to have a live-in housekeeper," she