Kait Jens finds art in everything, even roofing. Her creativity splashes onto every project canvas she takes on from psychology to aerial yoga to construction. This “mom of many talents” has done it all and is constantly pursuing a new challenge. Kait wants to prove that women can accomplish whatever they set their mind to when they stay true to themselves and are driven by their passion.
Finding passion in roofing
As a visual learner, Kait was always drawn to the arts. In high school, she studied art, theater, music, played in the band, and competed on the speech & debate team. Her artistic passions are a reflection of her personality.
“I’m an independent and strong-willed person. Art gives me a means of expression without constraints, it's very freeing.”
This freedom of expression propelled Kait to study the arts and humanities in college. However, when she graduated, she was still unsure of what career to pursue, so she decided to interview for an administrative position with a roofing company. Even though she expressed how little she knew about the roofing industry, her energy, confidence, optimism, and willingness to learn convinced the interviewers that she could grow to become a valuable asset to the company. Kait took the job and was eager to work hard to exceed all expectations of her new employer.
Kait credits her father and her Midwest upbringing for giving her a strong work ethic, but she believes her eventual success in roofing came from her willingness to learn.
“At first, I didn’t even understand any of the vernacular. I committed to reading countless constructions books and after dedicating enough time to the study I found a new confidence.”
Kait soon fell in love with the new atmosphere and challenges of working in the trades. This newfound passion showed in her outstanding work, leading to her being offered a position as a project engineer at Springer Construction. Kait is proof that sometimes the best things in life come unexpectedly. She was ready to seize the moment and is thriving in her new role as an aspiring project manager.
Art belongs in the trades
Over time Kait discovered a way of integrating her love for the arts into her career in the trades. Bringing a fresh perspective has made her stand out in a unique way and helped her feel even more passionate about her job.
From executing administrative tasks to figuring out the architecture of a building, Kait is constantly looking for ways to inject an artistic flair to her construction projects. On the surface, it may seem that art can only be applied to designing the physical aesthetics of a building, but Kait’s mission is to prove that the arts can be successfully utilized in many aspects of the construction industry.
Kait uses her inquisitive nature to ask new questions, to bring in fresh ideas, and to come up with creative solutions to major construction problems. This skill has been an immense tool that is helping Kait and her team to bring new value to their clients.
Success is a team effort
Each construction project is a combination of a tremendous team effort. STEM and trade companies can really benefit from hiring employees of different backgrounds in order to make their teams more well-rounded. Evolving old-school hiring practices can help employers discover talented individuals who may not be considering jobs in the skilled labor industry and can help close the workplace gender gap.
“You can’t do everything on your own. I know we all know that, but some of us hard-headed people need to hear it more often. You need to be able to rely on your team.”
Kait's message to women is that they can succeed in demanding, male-dominated industries while being true to who they are. Women in construction often feel like they have to sacrifice their personality in order to fit the construction worker stereotype. There is this notion that women won’t succeed unless they’re a rough tomboy.
When she first joined the industry, Kait was no exception. She tried to fit in by hiding her eclectic and artistic personality. However, she soon started to feel constricted, unmotivated, and unhappy.
“I found myself trying to become what I thought a woman in construction should be. It wasn’t until I realized that it’s genuinely best to just be authentic that I started thriving.”
Kait radiates positivity, passion, joy, and confidence. She offers these parting words of encouragement to women in demanding professions who are struggling to find where they fit in the workplace:
“Find the positive in everything, being positive and looking for the best in a situation is a sign of leadership. Stay on your toes. Always be the hardest worker. Stay true to yourself. If you do all that, then you’re going to be successful."