Company News

Celebrating Women in Construction Week at LONG!

It’s National Women in Construction week, and this year we’re putting the spotlight on the incredible women who are the backbone of LONG. Being in a traditionally male-dominated field like commercial construction, women may be presented with a different set of challenges and biases which they must overcome, and this leads to some unique stories. We sat down with a few women who hold various roles within our company so they could share their personal journeys and offer advice to others entering the trades. Each one represents the strength, skill, and passion that helps make the LONG team exceptional.

Meet the Trailblazers

Lingk_CheriCheri Lingk

Cheri is a Business Manger for HVAC Service. She has been in the industry for 40 years, with 25 of those at LONG. She was asked about the current landscape of women in construction and wanted to emphasize that there are plenty of roles within the field that women may not consider:

"I think [the construction industry] is a great opportunity. What I don't think is there's enough exposure for the women to really even take an interest in the construction industry. I think there needs to be more exposure so that women know that there are opportunities that exist, like I said, with the engineering and just the main accounting, the sales. This is huge. You can move into the management roles. Again, I started from finance not even knowing what I was getting into. And so then I ended up in the industry, but I wasn't seeking it. So I think there somehow needs to be some better awareness for women of the opportunities that do exist in construction. HR, accounting, admin, some management roles. We had some women engineers that were here. And so from the sales, I haven't seen a lot of engineers, but definitely there could be a huge need for that, for designing the equipment for the buildings. That's never going to go away. And I think the industry we're in is very strong because there's always going to be a need for it. So I believe there's a lot of job security with our industry because everybody, we need heating, we need cooling, and commercial buildings are everywhere. So it's nice from a job security standpoint to work with a company that's big enough, but this is a great company. And like I said, it is a very strong industry ... and the industry is small too. I will say that you just see people that they may leave this company, but then they go work for another that's a competitor. And so you just see people hopping around ... once they're in the industry, it's kind of a small brotherly world. You know people and they don't really seem to venture from there."

Pauline-PowellPauline Powell

Pauline Powell is the Sales Manager for LONG’s Alaska offices and has been with the company for 8 years. When asked what she thinks her biggest challenge in the industry has been, she answered:

"It's hard to get a seat at the table, whether you're male or female, and I think people need to understand that. Just because that person got a seat at the table doesn't necessarily mean they're contributing anything. My biggest thing was getting my voice heard. In order to do that, you need to have a champion. You need to get somebody's voice who is already being listened to to bring you in. At first, that doesn't mean that you're sitting at the table. What that really means is you're having backseat conversations with people that you can express your ideas to. Then they can talk to other people about your ideas, the way you say things, the way you're looking at everything. Then everyone else will start saying, 'Well, that's a great idea.' If you have the right champion, they will give credit where credit's due. They're not going to take it for themselves. Then eventually what happens is they're like, 'Hey, can you come to this with me?' At first, you have to understand once you get a seat at the table, you can't just blurt everything out and take over. You need to be very measured in how you're coming to that table. Then your voice can get stronger. Then once you're there, you need to turn around. You need to be a champion for another person, male or female."

Brenda-HerrickBrenda Herrick

Brenda is a Senior Business Manager for Building Automation. She has been in the industry for 40 years, and has spent 35 of them with LONG. When asked what her advice is for other women in construction, she shared:

"If I was going to offer women in construction advice, you know, for the longest time, whenever we got a new project manager, I felt like I had to prove it all over again. I could see their skepticism. And usually what happened is there was some kind of problem and I was able to help them with it. And then I would gain acceptance like that. I think if you can just forget about who's male and who's female, you can have a lot of success. Just think about the job you're trying to do. And we all have the same goal, you know, with me and a project manager, our goal may be getting the project done. It's a goal for him and for myself. It's a goal for LONG. And that can bring us together because ultimately we want the jobs to be successful and we want the company to be successful. And I think if you get hung up on the ego of it, of who's on top and who's the man, it just gets in the way."

Dani-CarrDani Carr

Dani is an Account Executive for our Parts team and has been with LONG for 3 years. When discussing earning respect within a highly male-dominated industry, she explained her own experience:

"I'm part of a motorcycle ministry, so I'm around a lot of men in this industry anyways. Gaining the respect of men was not a problem for me. Standing my ground and earning their respect is what you can't demand, you have to earn it. I think when you're a woman the hardest thing is, first of all, to earn that respect. You have to stay consistent because if you're consistent and you just stand your ground eventually it'll come back to where they see you for what you can do and not that you're a woman in the field."

Melissa-TeBockhorstMelissa TeBockhorst

Melissa is an Engineering Technician for Building Automation who has been with LONG for 12 years. She knows that women in the construction industry can often feel excluded, though she does not feel that way at LONG. She shares her opinion about LONG and offers advice to other women in the industry:

"I would say that LONG in general feels already inclusive. I've always been supported by my managers. So in order to support other women in the industry or just advice for them is I would just say be confident in what you know. There's been a couple of times where I've walked into a meeting or a job site, and I may not feel like they think I know what I'm doing. So I always just try to walk in there with confidence. If there's any comments that are made, I usually just ignore them. And then I leave the job knowing that I fixed whatever the problem was that I went there for. And then also reach out to other people and use your resources. So most people in our industry, I feel like are willing to help you. And it's just really just asking for help."


Supporting Women in the Trades

Though it may be Women in Construction week, LONG celebrates women in construction all year round. As an equal opportunity employer, we’re proud to foster an inclusive environment for all. We’re always looking for areas in which we can improve accommodations for the women who work for us. For example, there is a severe lack of PPE equipment and clothing designed for women, so we continually search for more equitable options and update our internal store as we discover them. Outside of LONG, we attend women-focused events and support women-focused causes. In 2023 and 2024, we were a sponsor of the Transportation & Construction GIRL event, which helps girls learn about financially sustainable careers in those fields. Our yearly endowment fund always includes women’s nonprofit organizations nominated by members of our team, in addition to offering matching contributions on donations made personally by employees.


Joslyn Beckwith

Joslyn is the digital marketing coordinator for LONG. She loves to hike and play volleyball when the weather is warm and spends her free time reading, watching movies, and playing video and board games.