Paving the Way for Women in Construction

The College of Technology is joining The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) in celebrating Women in Construction Week March 7-13, 2021 by exploring how our students and faculty have experienced being a woman in the construction industry. As we reflect and celebrate the contributions made by women in construction, the College of Technology had the opportunity to highlight Dr. Lana Coble.

Dr. Coble is an adjunct professor for the Construction Management department for the College of Technology. She graduated from the University of Houston College of Education with her Ed.D. and has been working in the construction industry for over 40 years. Dr. Coble is also the donor of the Iris Walters and Dr. Lana Coble Endowed Scholarship for the College of Technology.

With women making up only 10% of the construction industry, Dr. Lana Coble has devoted her life to promoting women and diversity within the field. Aspiring to create more opportunities for women, Dr. Coble has played a significant role to provide support for women in construction management.

Having over four decades of industrial experience, Dr. Coble has made it her mission to do everything possible to help women working in a predominately male industry.

“When I entered the construction field in 1980, I didn’t realize how much discrimination there was against women,” said Dr. Coble. “I didn’t have anyone to help me navigate my career and I knew that women have constantly been at a disadvantage.”

“I wish I had someone I could have gone to, because it was intimidating to ask a man for advice when they told you, ‘you just have to work harder because you’re a woman,’” said Dr. Coble.

While Dr. Coble struggled to find her voice within her early career, she is now the voice of many young women throughout the industrial industry.

“For girls interested in pursuing construction- do not let anyone tell you that you can’t do it,” said Dr. Coble. “I want other women to have that opportunity, because I think the industry would be better for having more diversity in it.”

In addition to being an advocate, Dr. Coble has invested in women pursuing construction through an endowed scholarship for Construction Management students. Dr. Coble’s scholarship was created in honor of her mother, Iris Walters, one of her biggest supporters throughout her career.

“I want more women to grow in the industry and to have the support they need, so I created a scholarship for women in construction management,” said Dr. Coble.

Throughout her involvement with the College of Technology, Dr. Coble has been touched by the opportunity to create an avenue for students to succeed.

“As a professor, it’s not just about the kids that really excel in learning; it’s about the students that struggle to do that,” said Dr. Coble. “If you are able to reach these students to the point where they can build a life for themselves- what greater gift is there?”

With nearly $1 billion worth of projects throughout her experience, Dr. Coble’s career is far from over. Currently, she is still teaching at the College of Technology and working with various contractors, including the Houston Zoo.

“If you had asked me when I was younger what I thought success looked like, I would’ve said it was the size of the project that mattered,” said Dr. Coble. “But now I believe it’s directly related to how well you did to collaborate with a team.”

“At the end of the day, what matters most when it comes to success is the impact you leave on the people around you,” said Dr. Coble.