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NAWIC Women in Construction Week: Highlighting Women in Atlas Copco, Partner Networks

Tue March 08, 2022 - National Edition
Atlas Copco

Lesley Taylor Sherry Phillips Kayla Dixon Veronica Sams

During Women's History Month, The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) celebrates Women in Construction Week. This week celebrates, educates and promotes the important role of women who work in the construction industry.

Lesley Taylor, Creative & Content Marketing Manager — Atlas Copco Power Technique

Lesley Taylor

Lesley Taylor joined Atlas Copco four years ago after working in marketing at a brake manufacturing facility in Charlotte, N.C. Taylor graduated from the University of Wilmington with a B.F.A in Creative Wiring and Publishing and fell into the marketing field after working in technical writing and journalism.

Now, Taylor is responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing successful marketing activities through digital and print advertising, and works closely with the Power Technique sales team to enhance sales opportunities and track return on investment.

Taylor prides herself being a woman in the construction industry.

"There's always something new and exciting to learn about the construction industry. I drive down the road now and see Atlas Copco units all over the place and it's neat to understand your connectivity to the infrastructure of your own city. You also get to be part of knowing that the products we create are involved in disaster relief and help people survive. It really gives a bigger purpose to what you do each day."

What information would you share to other women looking for a career in construction?

"You will go through different and unique struggles as a woman in the industry, and sometimes things will be harder for you — but you must always trust yourself and your instincts to keep moving forward. Stand up for and be in tune with yourself and rely on your teammates to ask questions. Never be afraid to ask questions. Things are also getting better for women in the industry, and the level of respect you receive is very rewarding for the accomplishments you make."

Sherry Phillips, Branch Manager IV — United Rentals

Sherry Phillips

Sherry Phillips is the branch manager IV and company liaison for Women United at United Rentals, a premier partner with Atlas Copco.

Phillips grew up in farming, which was a precursor to her equipment knowledge and experience. She attended UNC Asheville where she studied accounting, which led her to her first job as a credit collector. She later joined United Rentals as the general manager, where she's been for the last 38 years.

Being a NAWIC member, Phillips is a strong proponent to continue to raise awareness for women in the construction industry.

"Try not to think so much about the differences," said Phillips. "Gain all of the knowledge you can and use your networking internally and externally to further your career. Try not to focus so much on the differences between men and women and let it organically happen."

What information would you share to other women looking for a career in construction?

"Expect to be tested daily and prepare for it. Be straight forward, ask questions. Think outside the box and be willing to step outside your comfort zone. If you could find a good mentor to propel your career, or at least in the industry, that's a huge advantage as well."

Phillips believes that everyone will bring something to the table. We all see things in a different perspective, but she believes that's what makes people in the industry great.

"I would like to say thank you for United Rentals for encouraging diversity within the organization. They have been hugely in favor of promoting women and diversity and they see the value in that."

Kayla Dixon, Technical Support Specialist — Atlas Copco Power Technique

Kayla Dixon

Kayla Dixon is a technical support specialist with Atlas Copco. She graduated from Clemson with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineer, then worked as a design and structures engineer for the military division of Pratt & Whitney. After a few years, she decided to move to Charlotte to be closer to family, which is how she came across Atlas Copco and began her career in the construction industry.

"One advantage of working in the construction industry is that there will always be a demand, especially at this time as the infrastructure of the United States is being rebuilt. There are a wide array of different career paths and opportunities that can be taken within the industry."

Dixon believes that all women should be open to any opportunities, even if it isn't 100 percent what you have in mind for yourself. Stepping out of your comfort zone allows yourself to grow.

What information would you share to other women looking for a career in construction?

"Not all construction careers involve actually working on a construction site. There are many diverse opportunities within the construction industry, and they can range from hands-on to desk jobs, and span across many different departments such as engineering, marketing, and sales."

Veronica Sams, CAD Engineer II — Atlas Copco Power Technique

Veronica Sams

Veronica Sams always had a passion for designing and drafting, so when she saw an engineering opportunity open, she knew she had to push hard to take it, and she's never looked back.

"It's always been my niche," said Sams. "I've always loved that design aspect."

One thing Sams loves about the construction industry are the wide range of opportunities.

"There's everything from the sales aspect of working directly with the customer, getting that customer feedback and seeing those machines in the field. Then that information gets brought back in house to use in creating a better product. There's a lot of opportunity within the industry."

What information would you share to other women looking for a career in construction?

Sams believes there are so many opportunities for women, no matter which side of the business you're on. Her advice to young professionals is to not hesitate and bring your unique qualities to the table.

"There's so many more opportunities these days compared to when I was young," said Sams. "Be open to them when they present themselves. In my career, I have sometimes overthought, held myself back a little, by being too close to opportunities that I see now and think I should have gone for."

For more information on Women in Construction Week, visit

For more information on Atlas Copco Power Technique, visit

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