Women in Construction Series: Featuring Yhe Perucho
“Women in construction can always move up, do better, and learn new skills in a field that has traditionally been dominated by men.”
Construction may be one of the first industries that come to mind when you think of a male-dominated business. Women account for only 10.9% of all construction workers. The number of females working on construction sites is much lower – barely one for every 100 workers. Given that women account for 47% of all working adults, the construction industry benefits from only around 1.25% of female employees.
Several reasons contribute to this massive gender disparity, including unconscious gender bias, a lack of proper training, and negative opinions of women working in construction. Despite these obstacles, women continue to carve out their professional paths.
One of SDW’s remarkable women in construction is Ayetha Perucho, or “Yhe,” as her friends call her. Her job as a stock administrator and lead at the SDW Workshop is critical. She is in charge of keeping track of and managing the inventory of consumables and fixed assets.
As a stock administrator, she keeps track of how all the consumables and fixed assets move from the central stores to all the project sites. Aside from that, she is also in charge of keeping the inventory lists up-to-date and ensuring that management has accurate numbers for all stocks at the end of each month.
According to Yhe, the best part of her job is the continuous learning and challenges that come every day from interacting with different people. She loves working in SDW because she enjoys going to project sites, dealing with inventories, checking them, and interacting with architects, interior designers, warehouse workers, and carpenters. Training, coaching, and mentoring are also new and challenging roles for her. Focusing on the job, setting goals, and doing tasks effectively and efficiently make her good at her work. She considers that being a woman in the male-dominated construction industry is a challenging and empowering role.
What are the advantages of women working in construction? What are the disadvantages?
“I believe that the advantage of women in construction is that they can take on any role. We are good at multi-tasking and excel in office positions, management, and client relations. However, there are also disadvantages. One is the feeling of isolation because construction is a male-dominated industry. Second, women have limited strength when it comes to heavy lifting. But that is what the men are for!”
As a stock administrator, she is responsible for tracking stock movements from the warehouse or from one location to another. As much as she wants to assist in loading cargo for a faster turnover, she can’t because of the heavy loads. So she delegates the heavy lifting to the men and focuses on supervising them.
And like everybody else, she also experiences pressure in her line of work. “Pressure is an unavoidable part of any job. The way I handle it is that first, you need to analyze the situation. Prioritize what to do first and what can wait. I also delegate some tasks to my colleagues when they are free.”
Why did you choose construction?
Construction is way too far from my degree, which is mass communication. But when I got the opportunity to work in the construction industry, I learned a lot, and it was a great experience. I recommend it to girls or ladies looking for a challenging and exciting career.
Yhe graduated from the Lyceum of the Philippines University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, majoring in Advertising. This degree is a long way from her current line of work. But she has worked for SDW for five years and is very good at what she does. It shows that you can always excel if you are willing to learn. Being a woman in construction can be advantageous.
She joined SDW as an inventory and warehouse assistant for the Pioneer headquarters. “We started with a tiny storage unit, but the company later invested in a larger warehouse in Mandaluyong, relocating the warehouse department.” Later, the warehouse and joinery departments merged in Cupang, Muntinlupa, where I was the stock administrator.
What has been your most memorable moment working with SDW?
“The most memorable experience I had while working at SDW was realizing who I am and what I am capable of. Even though I am a woman, I can do more and take on more challenges than is expected or has previously been done. I believe there is always room for women in construction to advance, perform better, and develop skills in what has traditionally been a male-dominated field.”
What advice would you give a young woman entering the industry?
“The most important advice is to develop self-confidence.” Young women should be able to take on and face all the challenges. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions and face obstacles head-on.”
Who inspires you?
Alicia Keys’ song “Girl on Fire” inspired me. It says, “She’s living in a world that’s on fire, filled with catastrophe, but she knows she can fly away.”
I believe we can do anything if we set our minds to it. But the one that inspires me the most is my family. They support me in everything I do to achieve my ambitions and goals.
What makes you proud of working in the construction industry?
“I feel proud whenever I see the creative and innovative outcomes of the projects and products of SDW. It makes me feel honored that I somehow contributed to that achievement.”
Yhe believes that the most significant change happening in the construction industry is the continuous change and improvement in efficient technology. People are always looking for processes and techniques to improve quality, reduce costs, simplify work processes, and improve customer satisfaction and profits for the company. And as one of the women working in the construction industry, she is proud to be part of it.