In This Episode:
Crushing Gender Stereotypes and Owning Your Value
Lauren Parker, VP of Operations at Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC) leads confidently as one of the few women leaders in the engineering industry. She’s been surrounded by males most of her life and often doesn’t think twice about her gender, but she acknowledges the unique challenges she faced as a young woman coming up in a male-dominated field.
Lauren studied engineering in college and quickly entered the workforce as a civil engineer. Over the years, her confidence in what she knew allowed her to hold her own during projects where she was stereotyped based on her gender. She learned that networking and physically showing up as a smart and capable person were the keys to creating success for herself – and it’s a piece of advice she passes on to other women working to make a name for themselves in a heavy industry.
Today, Lauren instills confidence in those she leads by acting as their partner and teammate as they work together to solve problems and achieve goals. In this episode, she details the story of how she became comfortable in a male-dominated industry, the stereotypes she’s had to overcome, and the advice she gives to others on similar paths.
Lauren has a wealth of valuable insights you won’t want to miss. We’re thrilled to share her episode as another example of a woman killing it in a male-dominated industry. Give it a listen and enjoy!
“One of our founders…will sometimes [ask me things like] ‘do you want to join our management committee?’ And I’ll say, ‘I do, if you’re putting me on it because you think I’ll add value. I don’t want to do it if you’re just putting me on because I’m a female.’ And I always say that stuff. I do believe that he [comes to me] because I will speak up and I will give my opinion. But I want to make sure that I’m bringing value.”
About Lauren Parker
Lauren is a professional engineer and Vice President of Operations at Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc. (CEC). After graduating from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology, she joined CEC as a Staff Consultant in the Pittsburgh Civil Engineering Practice. There she mainly worked on commercial and institutional land development projects until 2008 when she also began working on oil and gas land development projects. In addition to rising to the position of Vice President in the Pittsburgh Civil Engineering Practice, she also held the role of Corporate Oil & Gas Market Group Lead for seven years. Additionally, she has served on CEC’s Management Committee for five years and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2021.
Throughout her career, Lauren has been recognized for her efforts at CEC, the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), and beyond. In 2015, Lauren was appointed to the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force by then Speaker of the Pennsylvania House Mike Turzai. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf created the Task Force to help the state’s natural gas industry and support communities to collaborate more effectively. She was named a Future Industry Leader at the 2015 Northeast Oil & Gas Awards and a year later, she won an Energy Leadership Award, presented by the Pittsburgh Business Times. Out of the 19 winners that year, Lauren was the only female.
In addition to building a successful career and becoming a leader in several areas, Lauren and her husband of 18 years, Ryan, reside in Valencia, PA and are raising their three children, Freda, 5, Jack, 4, and Ruth, 2. To learn more about Lauren, connect with her on LinkedIn.