Any Gender Can Do This Job


In our ongoing recognition of Women In Construction Week, we highlight a woman behind the wheel of about 75,000 pounds.

Kaitlyn Standridge once farmed roses, alfalfa and potatoes. When she turned 18 years old, she earned her CDL (commercial drivers license) to haul farm produce. She always thought she would stay in farming.

The industry then changed, so she looked to construction.

“It’s very fun,” Kaitlyn explained. “I like getting into different pieces of machinery. The landscaping of the job is always changing.”

Kaitlyn is an equipment operator. However, she doesn’t drive just anything. She’s behind the wheel of a scraper, a giant earth mover, a machine weighing about 75,000 pounds. The weight is about the same as 10 elephants or 12 large SUVs.

“There’s not much room to get bored.”

In Haydon’s ongoing recognition of Women In Construction Week, we highlight Kaitlyn as someone who goes above and beyond. There are very few women equipment operators in the construction industry. However, as far as Kaitlyn is concerned, a lot of companies prefer women operating trucks and equipment because they “take better care of the machinery.”

“A lot of other women say, “‘Oh, I could never,’” Kaitlyn said. “ You absolutely could!”

At Haydon, Kaitlyn tells us coworkers see her as an equal.

“I’ve been with the same crew for three years now. And they have watched out for me and respected me. They’ve always held me on the same pedestal as them.”

Kaitlyn advises other women to never “let anyone tell you you can’t.”

“Haydon gives women many opportunities. And I think they set the standard on that.”

To any women without a CDL background, Kaitlyn would give them the same advice she would a man: Just apply.

“It’s not a gender role. You can start the way anyone does. Don’t pay attention to any barriers or blocks in your way. This job is not just for one gender. Any gender can do this job.”

Stepping into this industry is hard work. Oftentimes, it’s physical work. But with the proper guidance and mentorship, anyone can make it in the construction industry.

Kaitlyn said, “This industry needs more women.”