VCC Celebrates:

Construction Inclusion Week

Diversity is our strength at VCC, and during this special week, we’re thrilled to highlight our ongoing commitment to inclusivity.

Meet Project Engineer Flavia Santana, who earlier this year received recognition at her alma mater, Oklahoma State University College of Engineering. In our latest blog post, Flavia shares her experiences and insights as a woman of Hispanic descent in the construction industry. Her journey inspires us to continue fostering diversity and inclusivity at VCC.



What is your background?

I’m originally from Peru and moved to the US when I was 9 years old.

What made you choose a career in the construction industry?

It feels great to be part of building something tangible for a community that will add value to the lives of those around it. Whenever I drive past a building that I’ve worked on, I feel a great sense of pride that I contributed to it.

Do you feel you stand out as a Hispanic woman in the field?

Yes, I do. My line of work allows me to interact with a wide variety of people, and I love that more and more women are joining this dynamic field every year. However, lack of awareness is still one of the main obstacles for women entering the trades, and improving this starts with parents, educators and business leaders. To make decisions about their educational and professional futures, young women and girls need easy access to information and resources.

Why did you choose to work at VCC?

VCC has endless opportunities to grow and gain experience in the field and office. Working in different states has provided me access to work with different personnel and embrace the different challenges within the jobsite. I love seeing people from different roles or companies working together to solve problems for a common goal. In the end, we all want to succeed. I never want my peers to lose in order for me to win. A sense of community amongst team members makes all the struggles of a project worth it.

Talk a bit about the inclusivity and diversity at VCC, if you feel it applies, you won an award for DEI at OSU. Explain how you won it.

I have previously worked with different non-profit and professional organizations throughout my college years by fundraisers, volunteering and supporting those events that help build a stronger community within the university and first year college students. This engagement has benefited students that come from a first-generation and/or low-income household by proving endless resources and mentorship throughout their college experience. While helping these students, our organization’s chapter has seen a higher graduation percentage of those students’ completing college.

How can we broaden our diversity and inclusivity in the construction industry?

Workplace diversity adds creativity to an otherwise homogeneous group, increasing workplace productivity and performance alongside new perspectives. More and more companies are implementing focus groups, training, mentoring, and networking programs. This creates a more open environment for people who are entering the workforce as a minority and helps them to feel comfortable and accepted.

If you want you can add something about encouraging young women to join our industry and join us at VCC.

As a woman in a traditionally male dominated field, I have been fortunate to work with amazing, strong women in leadership who are also excellent mentors. They have had a significant impact on my career, having helped hone and sharpen my strengths, as well as help build my courage and confidence to lead. It is important as women to foster an environment of support for other women, advocating and encouraging women as they grow and rise to leadership roles. With all the initiatives focused on women and girls in STEM, I am encouraged that soon we won’t think of construction as a predominately male field.

Are you ready to take the next step in your career and embark on your professional journey?
CLICK HERE to learn more about job opportunities that could shape your future!