6 Questions with Bonacio Woodshop Coordinator Marley Starks
Not only is March Women’s History Month, but this week is also Women in Construction Week, and today is International Women’s Day! With all of these important occasions coming together at once, we thought there was no better time to profile one of our women in the field. Marley Starks is our Woodshop Coordinator and has been with Bonacio Construction for over five years. She’s one of the few women in our business whose position is outside the office, meeting with clients and working with her hands. Read below for her insight into what it’s like being a woman in construction.
- What led you to choose construction as your career path?
I’ve always been interested in construction. I started working with my dad very young, and he showed me how to work with my hands and feel that accomplishment once a project was complete. I started drawing/installing fire sprinklers systems in high school, received a degree in mechanical technology, and I’ve been in some form of construction ever since.
- What does your role entail?
Here at Bonacio Construction, I wear many hats. I meet with clients, create drawings/renderings, estimate projects, field measure, order materials, manage the Woodshop, deliveries, help install when needed, coordinate shared vehicles, manage warehouse storage and upkeep equipment maintenance, and do any special projects Tony can think up.
- Do you wish there were more women in construction?
I do. I think women have certain traits that are beneficial to a career in construction. For instance, women tend to be excellent planners and communicators, pay closer attention to details, and are simply more empathetic leaders.
- Which of the projects you’ve worked on is your favorite?
I would have to say my favorite projects are Cooperstown Distillery in Saratoga and The Round Lake Fire Department. I was a vital part of the conceptual design for their custom millwork and was involved with both projects from contract all the way to helping with the installation.
- What advice would you give to a woman interested in a career in construction?
I will encourage anyone to pursue a career in construction if they like to work as a team and solve problems. For a woman specifically, I would say stiffen your backbone and speak your mind!
- Who are your female role models?
My very first was Amelia Earhart. Not only was she the first woman to fly a plane, but she was also one of the bravest pilots in history – flying where no one had before! She never let anyone keep her from her passion. Second is Lenore Janis. She was the first true pioneer for women in construction. She was a founder and former president of Professional Women in Construction. PWC started in NYC as a small, volunteer-led nonprofit for women in the industry to connect and support each other. Under her leadership, PWC grew around the country, offering tens of thousands more women guidance navigating the male-dominated construction industry.