International Women in Engineering Day is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of female engineers. At Wiss, we’re privileged to work with clients like Bohler who support and recognize the importance of women’s contributions in this industry.
Taylor Parker, P.E., Branch Manager at Bohler’s Miami office, shares what inspired her to pursue a career in Engineering and what it takes to succeed and stand out in a traditionally male-dominated profession.
What sparked your interest in Engineering?
I grew up loving construction. I wanted to build skyscrapers all over Miami. One time as a kid, I built a dollhouse completely from scratch, placing every individual floorboard and roof shingle. I was drawn to the satisfaction of seeing my designs come to fruition. Originally, I thought I wanted to be an architect, but with the guidance of a school counselor, I took a few engineering classes and was hooked.
What would you say has been your most rewarding experience as an Engineer?
Starting an office from the ground up. I’m leading Bohler’s newest location in Miami and I’m responsible for ensuring it’s a success. I am responsible for everything including building the team, creating the business plan, and cultivating the client base. I have a smart, ambitious team with me here in Miami, and I’m excited to lead them and help them grow.
What challenges do women face in the Engineering world? How can workplaces ease those challenges?
Often, I’m the only woman in the room, or at the construction site. I’ve learned to be bold, assertive, and confident in my knowledge and ability to bring value to every conversation.
Another challenge women face is the notion that employees need to be in the office from 8 am until 6 pm, Monday through Friday. Workplaces can help by starting conversations about flexible schedules that enable women to feel successful at work and at home.
Through the Women’s Professional Network at Bohler, we have a platform to challenge any fear we have about speaking up. We are encouraged to challenge the beliefs we have about our own abilities and the value we bring to the firm.
For men, we’ve challenged mindsets through awareness. We shared our experiences with men. This feedback challenged what many of them believed to be true about a woman’s experience.
What’s the most exciting aspect of your job?
The fast‐paced development industry excites me and keeps me motivated. I thrive under pressure. The high‐pressure situations I’ve been handed over the years have pushed me to constantly improve my skills and expertise.
What are your hopes for the future of Engineering?
I would like to see more consideration towards green, sustainable building and construction. Considering the numerous ecological challenges impacting our world, I feel it is the responsibility of engineers to contribute more towards building and maintaining a sustainable environment. With the ability to provide solutions that minimize environmental damage, engineers play a vital role in creating that sustainability.
What advice would you give to young girls who are considering Engineering as a career choice?
Don’t be afraid to be bold and assertive. Speak up, and make your opinions heard. People will notice. To make a lasting impression, you have to stick out a little.
Tell us more about the culture at Bohler. What makes it inclusive or supportive of women in Engineering?
I am a founding member of Bohler’s Women’s Professional Network (WPN), which brings our women together and empowers them to create positive change. The group’s Leadership Council works to create and execute a plan to carry out our mission: to recruit, retain, and develop the brightest talent in the industry.
Since the network’s inception, the number of female engineers at Bohler has increased nearly 70%. Women in engineering management roles has increased by nearly 300%. By bringing women together to share experiences and encourage each other, the WPN is making Bohler a stronger organization.
More about Taylor
As Branch Manager of Bohler’s Miami office, Taylor leads a team of experienced and local civil engineering professionals who look beyond the immediate plan set to understand the bigger picture of what’s possible. Having permitted a multitude of projects throughout Miami‐Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties, Taylor has developed strong relationships with city officials and county staff. She has successfully navigated approvals through agencies such as Miami‐Dade County Traffic, Miami‐Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM), and Broward County Surface Water Licensing. Taylor drives the land development process, leveraging creative design solutions and aggressive permitting strategies to keep projects on track and help developers grow their businesses.