The Meet the Tech Leader series spotlights amazing women of color tech leaders who are making the tech industry better, and are trailblazing the path for more WoC to enter the field.
In this premiere post, we’re shining a spotlight on the strong, fierce and fearless WoC tech leader, Micheal Mackenzie Lane, president and founder of SHEGETITDONE and the host of the Micheal Uninterrupted Podcast. Micheal is also featured in the book Women of Color in Tech.
In her post, Micheal discusses the tech opportunities available in construction, how she persevered in the face of adversity, and how SHEGETITDONE is helping marginalized communities find gainful and rewarding employment.
What tech opportunities exist in the construction industry?
There are so many different avenues you can go in the way of tech in the construction industry; from design to augmented reality (AR) to virtual reality (VR)…. to [drone technology]. The list goes on just like any other industry.
The construction industry is one of the most diverse and interesting industries; especially for people who love being able to watch the actual fruits of their labors grow before their eyes. Whether your interests lie in the design, technology, equipment operations, the on-site management or the hands- on work, construction offers so many job and career options, there really is something for almost everyone. We need to understand how our workforce development efforts are stacking up in the face of growing infrastructure needs, economic rebounding, and a new generation entering the workforce.
What difficulties did you experience in your career path? What helped you to persevere during those times?
The three difficulties that I experienced were being black, being a woman, and having a disability: PTSD.
To tell you the truth, what got me through it was actually social media and podcasts revolving around women of color in corporate spaces, and how it relates to other industries and fields. That I was not the only one put in to that position where I felt like I was being bullied day in and day out but told that I had attitude. I didn’t have any advocates. I was the only one. Which I referred to as the only dot in the room. Also, remembering that we came from slaves and if they could make it I could.
What efforts are you undertaking to bring more women of color in the tech industry? Why is this important to you?
I started my non-profit, SHEGETITDONE. It is important [to me] because I hated being the only one getting money! SHEGETITDONE strives to continually promote the construction industry by combating negative stereotypes, increasing the awareness of the opportunities that are available by educating the general public on social media.
SHEGETITDONE offers inspiration to all industry employers desperate for workers today and who know that their future workforce had better be well into the education/training pipeline for those projects of the future.
SHEGETITDONE looks to rebuild the pipelines to the many pathways leading to careers in construction by connecting employers, educators, and other key stakeholders at local levels to build better communities.
Are there any other pieces of advice you’d like to give to women of color thinking of pursuing a construction technology path?
My advice for any woman pursuing the construction path is follow your gut. It’s a known fact that we have always had to work harder than anyone else to get the inch of credit. It’s going to be tough, but it is well worth it in the long run because if he can, you can; if you can, she (tomorrow’s girl) can.