Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

Join our team
Join the Falcon Media team for Spring semester - paid staff positions, internships, volunteer opportunities. Applications open now until October 13. Get the details!
The BG News
BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Poetry for Fall
    By Jay Grummel Poetry has a way of connecting us to the external and internal world. In poetry it is easier to feel a season and truly feel a piece due to this. Poetry has a subtle way of making the readers immersed into the world of the poem. With the air getting colder and […]
  • A Theatrical Rivalry with Love and Despair
    By Jay Grummel If We Were Villains has a way of making the horrifics acts of rivals and the blurry line of morals poetic. At first glance I didn’t think I’d enjoy this book as much as I did, especially with the amount of times it quoted Shakespeare. However, after diving into this dark academic […]

New all-women organization hopes to empower women in College of Technology


Outlining future plans for the women’s empowerment group, Purple Hard Hats, is the group’s President Jessica Miles, a sophomore majoring in construction management. The group for those majoring in architectural design, construction management and engineering, met in the Tech Building earlier this week.

Look like a girl, but think like a man. Act like a lady, but work like a boss.

Such is the motto for the Purple Hard Hats, a group of students in the College of Technology looking to empower women and improve female representation in several construction-related majors on campus.

The group is open to women majoring in construction management, architectural design and engineering.

Jessica Miles, the group’s president, founded the Purple Hard Hats earlier this semester, after seeing a disparity in gender among some of her classes.

“I hated going to classes and being the only girl,” Miles said. “I asked, ‘Where are the females in our industry?’”

The idea of the organization stemmed from Miles, who dreamed of a group where women students in these fields could support one another.

“I honestly think that this organization is kind of a need, because if we don’t build up ourselves, who’s going to uplift us when we’re out there in the real industry?” Miles said.

Some members expressed that being a woman in male-dominated fields meant greater expectations from them in classes and field work.

“People expect more from you since you’re a girl,” said sophomore Mariana Figueroa, group secretary.

For sophomore Emily Nungester, an architectural student and the group’s treasurer, her experience was nearly the opposite.

“They thought you didn’t know how to do anything,” she said.

A gender-gap awaits women majoring in these professions. Just 18 percent of engineering undergraduates are women, according to the American Society for Engineering Education, This ratio is only slightly higher for the architectural industry, whose percentage of licensed female architects in the United States was 20 percent, according to a report from the American Institute of Architects.

For the construction industry, the numbers are even more drastically slanted, with an estimated 2.6 percent of women making up the United States’ construction workforce in 2010, according to the National Women’s Law Center.

Undeterred, Miles, whose father works as Detroit’s senior project manager, studies toward a career in urban development.

“I’m going to have a purple hard hat, and when people ask me why, I’ll say ‘I like purple,’” Miles said.

While she hopes of a career in construction management, she has found herself in the minority among other women on campus.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of girls in the field because when they hear construction management, I have to explain to them ‘It’s not me picking up a hammer and going to build a house,’” Miles said.

Instead, those in construction management like Miles seek to lead and preside over work sites.

Miles’ familial experience in the trade has given her plenty of ideas for the Purple Hard Hats. Professionalism is one of three primary focuses of the group, as Miles hopes members will gain experience and preparedness to succeed after graduation.

For Miles, the group is just as much about acclimating women to the realities of their industry as it is a support system. Among her ideas are golf lessons for all members, as “a lot of construction deals take place on the golf course,” Miles said.

The group also hopes to promote sisterhood and service, looking to volunteer in community events, eventually giving out scholarships for incoming freshmen in these majors and host fundraising efforts.

The first thing on Miles’ shopping cart: purple hard hats for all members, just $15 apiece.

Despite the group’s initial problems — no faculty adviser and not enough members to host meetings in the Union — those involved feel confident the Purple Hard Hats will catch on among students.

“It’s going to happen,” Miles said. “We’re going to take off … It’s kind of like history in the making.”

Vice President Teajuana Scott, a sophomore, said that the challenges she faces majoring in architectural design have only inspired her to work harder.

“I know when I tell people I’m in this, they say ‘I’ve never heard of a girl in that field,’” she said. “You really feel like you have to prove yourself.”

To the members of Purple Hard Hats, gender empowerment is only part of the equation. As students looking to make a career out of their passion, a strong mind is as much a power tool as those in their workplaces.

In classrooms throughout campus, those in the University’s first women’s group of its kind in the College of Technology seek to empower themselves — not just as women, but as architects, engineers and construction managers.

This, Scott said, is their biggest working material in class: pride.

“Man, we want to be one of the good ones in here.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *