PoH: Dayra Morales
HISPANIC YOUNG PROFESSIONALS & ENTREPRENEURS·TUESDAY, AUGUST 7, 2018
People often say we live in a man’s world. This may be statistically true; however, it is also true that today more women than ever before are excelling into sectors that have been predominantly dominated by men.
Originally from Coahuila, Mexico and growing up surrounded by contractors and builders, Dayra Morales knew early on she wanted to belong and work in a man’s world.
“I got exposed to construction because the men in my family worked in that field. When I was little, we’d drive around as they pointed out the houses that they helped build. That’s how I knew I wanted to get into construction; I knew I wanted to help build the Atlanta skyline,” Dayra recalls.
Dayra works as a pre-construction manager at the Choate Construction Company. She puts together all the conceptual budgets for construction contracts. The architects design the buildings, and then she tells them what it will cost to build.
She received a bachelor’s in Construction Management from Southern Polytechnic State University, now Kennesaw State University. Dayra is a pioneer of bringing diversity into the construction industry. Nonetheless, she has to work twice as hard to prove her position because of her gender and race. Thankfully, instead of discouraging her, it fuels Dayra’s motivation and she is steadily advancing in the field.
“Now I’m in a level of management, and I want to get to that next step. I want more Latinas in positions like mine, so we can help one another. I feel that as women, we doubt ourselves. We often shortchange ourselves. We don’t proclaim ourselves in a skill until we are experts, but it shouldn’t be that way,” Dayra states.
Always striving to better herself and advance in her career, Dayra sees the power of joining professional organizations such as HYPE. “As a Latina post-college, it’s hard to find people like you in the workforce. I’m the first in my family to graduate from high school and college, and I want to surround myself with people who can help me advance and learn,” she says.
Dayra’s recommendations to succeed in a “man’s man’s man’s world”? Do not be afraid to ask questions, even if it makes you seem like you don’t know a lot; apply for the job, even if you think you don’t have that much of experience; AND always go after what you want proclaiming and believing in yourself.
PoH: Dayra Morales