03.10.2021Women in Construction Week | Featuring Nancy Miller

Each year, the National Association of Women in Construction devotes the first week of March to highlighting the growing role of women in the industry. To celebrate, Quandel had the honor of interviewing Nancy Miller, Senior Estimator, who is helping change the face of the construction industry for the last 33 years.

Tell us how you got into construction and what kind of training/education/previous work experience brought you here?

I was hired as a Project Administrator when I moved back to the Harrisburg area, but I have a BA in Geology and worked for a utility locating firm in the DC area right after college.

Tell us a little about your position now and what an average day for you is like at Quandel?

As a senior estimator, I set up and run the bid day model, review the project requirements, perform takeoff/pricing on assigned scopes of work.  Subcontractor communication is part of my day as well.

What do you like most about Estimating?

No day is the same and every project is different – I like the variety!

What do you find challenging about Estimating?

I think estimating is most challenging when limited drawings/detail are provided, yet you are tasked with ensuring all scope items are covered.

Tell us a little about your most exciting/challenging project to date.

There have been lots of projects over the years, but I would have to say the larger healthcare projects are the most exciting/challenging.

Some studies show that less than 10% of the construction workforce is made up of women. Do you foresee this number changing in the future?

Initially there has to be an interest in knowing how things are constructed; once you get women interested in the process, I think that number will increase.

What traits does a person need to be successful in the construction industry?

You need to be able to collaborate with everyone involved on a project – owners, architects, field personnel, subcontractors.  Also, our industry is deadline driven, so time management and keeping the end goal in mind is essential.

What would be your advice be to a young woman who is starting out on the path to a career in Construction?

Understand and learn all you can about the construction process from estimating to closeout of a project.  Being well-rounded will help you see the big picture.  Be receptive to change.