LAX Celebrates the Women Behind its New Automated People Mover Project – NBC Los Angeles

on Mar11
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LAX is celebrating the women behind the new Automated People Mover project on the heels of International Women’s Day with the first “Women in Construction Week”.

Forty-five percent of the construction workers involved in the project, that seeks to facilitate access to the airport, are women.

“Honestly, I have a lot of pride in that right now. I think it’s an indication of where things could go within the industry,” says the Design-Build Project director, Sharon Gookin.

Gookin is the mastermind behind the new Automated People Mover under construction at LAX, and she says that what makes the project even more exciting are the women behind it.

The emotional struggle Meghan Markle detailed in her explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey triggered a conversation among Black women about the bias they experience in the workplace around the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork. Christina Coleman, a communications strategist, joined LX News host Ashley Holt to discuss why this is such a common struggle for Black women and how their white co-workers can be better allies.

“This particular job itself has more women than I’ve seen on any other job and it’s really amazing to be a part of that,” she said.

Between this project and others at the airport, 45% of the workforce is female.

“We have a lot of women in leadership roles and that’s because our airport and our management really believes in giving opportunities to women,” says LAX’s spokesperson, Stephanie Sampson.

The airport is undergoing a 5.5 billion dollar modernization project, with the Automated People Mover being the biggest part of that.

Women on the front line of construction, are also leading the front line of setting an example for those that may follow.

“[They are] trying to be good examples and show that you can do whatever you want to do, you just have to put in the work,” says Sampson.

A Newport Beach woman sells handmade products through her website Siembra Heritage. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News on Monday, March 8, 2021.

“I don’t really think too much, or try not to, about being a woman in the role and the difference between that and what people’s expectations are but trying to build upon what I have and experiences in my career,” says Gookin.

For Gookin, it’s been a three-decade career that evolved from architecture to engineering; and she says she can see the future in this, is female.

“The amount of talent coming up through the ranks right now is incredible and an indication of the things to come,” says Gookin.

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