What is your profession?
President and 4th Generation Owner of Gormley Plumbing + Mechanical. I’m also Chair of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), Women in the Mechanical Industry.
How did you get into the profession/what inspired you?
I was born into it! At a very early age I was taking naps in the bathtubs of our retail showroom, and eventually spent summers counting, cleaning and organizing plumbing parts in the warehouse. Later on, as I was project assistant for a new Nordstrom, the construction industry sparked my curiosity. Still to this day, when I visit that Nordstrom, it makes me proud that our family business (mechanical contractor) played a part in creating that building.
Why would you recommend a career in skilled trades?
I would recommend a career to anyone in the construction industry as you are learning a practical and useful skill/trade that no one can take away from you. In most cases, you are providing a basic human need that serves all. You can take pride that you are always fixing or creating something new. And, skilled trades are always in demand with plenty of opportunities and excellent job security.
“Skilled trades are always in demand with plenty of opportunity and excellent job security.”
What advice do you have for students or individuals who may be considering pursuing skilled trades?
As an advocate and proud supporter of the United Association (UA), I enjoy speaking with students and women about the opportunity that the UA has to offer – high pay, top-quality education, learning the latest technologies and the opportunity to expand their skillset. The knowledge and expertise of what you learn in the field may someday translate into endless opportunities in-house as a project manager, estimator, building information modeling coordinator, safety director or even an owner.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were looking into career opportunities?
From my experience, I didn’t know many women in the construction industry, so I chose the accounting and finance path; construction management and engineering weren’t on my radar. Today, high school and college students have endless opportunities related to the construction industry. They have the option to pursue a career in the skilled trades or obtain a degree related to the construction industry. Today, many apprenticeship programs are offering the ability to earn an Associate Degree as well. I enjoy participating at career fairs to speak with students about their endless opportunities, especially young women. Each year, it is exciting to witness more and more young women pursuing a career in the construction industry.
What’s your biggest career accomplishment to date?
Throughout my career, I have had many successes but what is most important to me is giving back to the construction industry and providing opportunities for more women to be a part of this ever-changing and evolving industry. Currently, I serve as the national chair of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI). MCAA’s WiMI was created to enable women in the mechanical industry to further enrich their careers through networking and educational, mentoring and career development opportunities. WiMI has opened the door to connect women from all across North America to network, share experiences and exchange ideas regardless of their titles or positions in their companies.
What’s one misperception that people have about your job?
The construction industry may not be for everyone. If you are a woman, don’t let someone tell you that you can’t do it. As a female in the industry, you may feel like you have to work twice as hard as your male counterparts but perseverance always wins!
“As a female in the industry, you may feel like you have to work twice as hard as your male counterparts but perseverance always wins!”
Why are you #MakerProud?
Seeing women within the industry connect and grow their careers makes me proud of what I do and fuels my passions to continue to be an ally and support all our sisters.