Engineers Week: Inspiring minority women to join the construction industry

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On February 21, 2024

Remy Haire is a junior at Missouri S&T. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

Remy Haire is a junior at Missouri S&T. Photo by Michael Pierce/Missouri S&T.

The future of construction engineering would benefit from more women – especially minority women – being inspired to join the field and share their perspectives, according to Remy Haire, a student at Missouri S&T.

Remy Haire wearing a McCownGordon Construction hardhat during her internship in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo courtesy of Haire.

Haire, a civil engineering student from East St. Louis, Illinois, shared her insights as part of a Missouri S&T article series focusing on the 2024 National Engineers Week theme, which is “Welcome to the Future.” 
“Construction engineering goes hand-in-hand with this year’s theme,” she says. “Society will always have a need to take something down and build something even better back up. But where we could greatly improve in the future is by having more underrepresented and sometimes underappreciated faces being involved in the processes.” 
She says this will help lead to more diverse views and thought processes being brought to the table, which would lead to more potential innovations being explored. 
Since arriving at Missouri S&T in 2021, Haire has been an active participant and leader in multiple organizations, including: S&T’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and S&T’s women’s rugby club.  
Since she was a child, her career path was seemingly always headed in the direction of becoming a construction engineer – even if she initially thought it was headed toward a commercial kitchen. 
“At first, I thought I wanted to be a baker, and I even decided on a name for my own bakery,” she says. “I still love baking, but I eventually realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do for my full-time career. But, there are surprisingly several parallels between working as a baker and working as a construction engineer. 
“In both fields, you must carefully follow the blueprints – or recipes –, and when you deviate from those plans, things may not work out how you hoped. Both require a strong attention to detail and commitment to see a process through from start to finish.” 
Haire says her parents have always been her biggest supporters, but it was her father’s professional background that inspired her current career path.  
“He worked in construction – in the trades,” she says. “I found the big machines he ran fascinating, and he helped open my eyes to the possibility of becoming a construction engineer.”  

Now, Haire is almost finished with her junior year at S&T, and then she will only have one year left to earn her undergraduate degree. 
After that, she aspires to work in positions that will allow her to help build schools and hospitals, among other buildings that are especially valuable to society. 
With a minor in industrial and organizational psychology, she says she could also see herself one day working in a human resources-type of role, and she hopes to be in leadership positions as well.  
Later down the road, she sees herself earning an MBA degree to help with this. 
Haire says she appreciates how Missouri S&T has helped prepare her to enter the workforce. 
As an S&T student, she has completed two internships – first with S.M. Wilson & Co. and then with McCownGordon Construction, and she says her courses and involvement with student organizations have made a significant difference as well.  
“I am excited for the future,” she says. “My experiences at S&T, combined with my hands-on internship experiences, have put me in a position to be successful after graduation. I am ready to start working full-time and make a difference.” 

More about Missouri S&T

Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) is a STEM-focused research university of over 7,000 students located in Rolla, Missouri. Part of the four-campus University of Missouri System, Missouri S&T offers over 100 degrees in 40 areas of study and is among the nation’s top public universities for salary impact, according to the Wall Street Journal. For more information about Missouri S&T, visit

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