Beck in the ABJ: Building Up Women in Construction

  • Mar 10, 2022

Beck Group Associate Jaqueline Dudley among the leaders discussing women’s progress in Austin’s construction industry

Jacqueline Dudley, an Associate Principal and Senior Project Architect, was one of six experts to join The Austin Business Journal’s roundtable of experts to celebrate Women in Construction Week.

The experts discussed topics including how each woman became interested in construction, the importance of mentorship, and the challenges each faced working in construction. They also shared sage advice and thoughts on how the pandemic affected women in construction.

Keep reading for highlights featuring Dudley at the Austin Business Journal’s round table.

A key moment from the discussion focuses on why mentors are critical to women in the industry. Dudley shared how her mentor’s guidance has impacted her career:

“It’s important to find and build relationships where you can ask questions of people who are more qualified than you, who can guide you. My mentor is a man, and he owns a construction company in Houston. I am an architect, so sometimes, going to him brings a different perspective. It’s been my goal to take down the stereotype of contractors versus architects, so defining him as my mentor was impactful.”

Dudley joined Beck’s architecture group in 2013. Today, she plays a key leadership role in the Beck design-build project, Texas Bankers Association Headquarters, but fondly recalls why she chose the AEC industry to make her mark:

“I got into construction – actually into architecture – from my dad. He owned a construction company in Houston for 40 years. It was so exciting to drive around the city and say, “Oh, my dad built that!” and it became appealing. I wanted to take my future children around and say, “I designed that!” or “I was on the team that built that.” Being able to show other people the fruits of your labor is rewarding.”

As a successful architect, design-build expert, and mother, Dudley can realize her dream of showing her children what she designed and built. However, she recognizes the challenges and opportunities of being a working mom in architecture and construction:

“Balancing being a mom and a career is hard; motherhood has been my biggest challenge. While I have not overcome it by any stretch of the imagination, I’m continuing to learn.”

To see more great insights from the Austin Business Journal’s Women in Construction round table, go here.

*Quotes featured in this article were edited for length and clarity.