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WoW Blog (Woman of the Week) Blog

WoW Blog (Woman of the Week)

Each week this blog will feature a prominent woman who made significant contributions to engineering or science. If you have any women you'd like us to feature please let us know and we'll do our best to include them.

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Woman of the Week – Amber Peebles

Posted October 02, 2017 4:30 PM by lmno24

Amber Peebles is President of the woman- and veteran-owned Athena Construction company, based in Virginia.

She graduated from Park University with a B.S. in Human Resource Management, holds a Masters certification in Paralegal Studies from The George Washington University, and a Project Management certification from Villanova University. She’s also a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. She spent time as a Platoon Commander at Parris Island, an assistant Operations Officer with 3rd FSSG, and other billets with the 1st Marine Air Wing and Officer Candidate School.

Source: Linkedin

She joined fellow Marine Melissa Schneider when she opened Athena Construction company. Both women brought significant construction experience to the table, as well as project management skills and sales experience. The company is a general contractor focusing on interior renovations with self-perform in-house subcontracting for doors frames and hardware installation.

Before joining Athena, she worked at Blank Rome LLP, where she was responsible for human resources, security, facilities management, capital improvement projects, and the day-to-day operation of a 200-person office.

Currently, her customer base is mostly government contracts. In an interview with, she noted that having a strong employee base of veterans makes this a good thing for both parties. She also often takes a military-style approach to her work.

“For us, we like hiring veterans because we have common experiences and “speak the same language.” Our job offers aren’t necessarily predicated exclusively on someone’s veteran status, but it does give us insight as to the individual’s approach to accomplishing tasks,” she said.

She’s spoken on being a woman in a male-dominated industry many times, with some particularly good insight in an interview with Construction DIVE.

“It’s not a particularly attractive industry if you don’t know a lot about it. Everybody thinks of construction as dirty — and it is — dangerous — and it is. A lot of times, you have to move. You have to go where the work is, and that’s not necessarily ideal for a lot of folks. Women have to make choices. Sometimes they have to choose between career and family, so it may not be the most attractive career. I think for the women who are in it for a career and are good at it, they really enjoy it,” she told the website. “Construction is also an incredibly risky business. Women, by their nature, typically are geared toward mitigating risk. They’re risk-averse. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing or a good thing. But construction is a really risky business.”

She noted that in order to change the face of male dominated industry, the current leaders must engage with the potential leaders of tomorrow. Mentoring is a helpful tool that we all should do more of, she said.


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Re: Woman of the Week – Amber Peebles

10/03/2017 10:58 AM

When I first read this story, I was truly interested. My first impression was that here was a person ( Woman ) that had really broken ground in a male dominated industry. Then I started to read the fine print, there were two areas that have changed my opinion :

A. The statement, " she brought extensive construction experience to the table " . From what I can gather, is that she brought extensive construction management experience to the table.

It first appeared that she started out as a trades person or a crafts person like a plumber, carpenter or electrician.

It was none of those.

While her accomplishments are many, varied and noteworthy, there is an acute difference between someone who has crawled through the mud and muck for several years before graduating into management and someone who started off wearing a suit and tie from the get go and then claims to have extensive experience.

Pencil pushing paper shufflers are a dime a dozen, whereas those that started out as grunts and worked their way to the top, are few and far between.

I have known and have worked for several persons ( Women ) that started out at the bottom and worked their way to the top, these few that I met were really inspirational.

In an interview, she made the comment, ( to the effect ) how she was, Glad as hell to get out of Residential construction and into federal construction.

We'll that is understandable. In residential construction, a person has to bust butt every day to earn a buck and everything down to the last screw and washer needs to be accounted for,

Whereas in federal construction, cost overruns are typically the case, in addition, worker's and or supervisors who get paid a set wage per hour, still get the same wage whether they bust butt or if they sit around milking the clock.

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