In The Median
Women in Construction: Jaclyn Tran
The Drive288 project is a reflection of Houston itself: a combination of local and international companies, with a team of workers who represent the diverse and unique nature of our great Texan city.
One of these workers, Jaclyn Tran, is a field engineer and a graduate of Kerr High School and University of Houston—Downtown. Before joining the Drive288 project, Jaclyn started her construction career working with Houston Rapid Transit, the lightrail project which included civil works components and associated transit systems. As a Field Engineer, she has also worked on County Road 48, a 2-mile roadway and bridge expansion project, which included both civil and structural works.
“I’ve worked many different types of jobs to find where I belong now,” said Tran. “I started as an engineering intern in the construction field; I found it to be very challenging, yet satisfying to see the impact it had on the community.”
The demands of the construction field can be extreme, and many variables come into play. Weather concerns, working with subcontractors, equipment failure, and other inconveniences all must be managed while keeping the project on schedule and in line. Working effectively and efficiently is Jaclyn’s main focus, and she doesn’t let these complications deter her from the bigger picture.
“It is a gratifying feeling to see what I’ve built and the impact that it has on our community; from providing safe and quick public transportation systems, to expanding roadways and bridges to ease commute times and get our highway’s travelers home to their friends and family quicker.”
In addition to being young in her career, the dynamic of being a minority woman in a predominately male-dominated field brings its own challenges. Working with an older generation of blue-collar workers requires establishing a firm demeanor, what Jaclyn calls her “work persona.” When getting things done on the job site, or having to send someone home, being strict is often required.
“Some people may think I come across mean, but realistically I’m saying the same things and giving the exact orders as anyone in this position would,” she shared. “I always try to be approachable, but it’s not always possible to be relatable. What I’ve learned is how crucial it can be to separate my work life from my personal life.”
Despite this dynamic of the construction industry, Jaclyn is quick to point out how rewarding working with the Drive288 team has been.
“The Drive288 team really believes in inclusivity—equal, fair treatment for everyone on the project, and this really makes me feel like part of the group.”
“This type of industry thrills me,” she said, “and I cannot see myself in any other.”
Jaclyn resides in Houston with her red nose Pitbull, Riddick.