This week is national Women in Construction Week (WIC Week™) which celebrates, educates and promotes women in the construction industry. This year’s theme, “Envision Equity,” seeks to raise awareness of opportunities and possibilities for women in the construction industry, from tradeswomen to project managers to business ownership. Twenty-year-old Salma Limon, a Hoopaugh Grading Company, LLC, (HGC) dozer operator, is proof positive that the possibilities are endless.

As a little girl, Limon never imagined being a heavy equipment operator although she had always enjoyed tagging along to jobsites with her dad. “One day I was sitting in a mini excavator when my dad teased me saying, ‘Don’t dig us to China!’” laughed Limon. “Now, 10 years later I’m out here working on construction sites operating a Caterpillar dozer.”

With a median pay of approximately $24 per hour or $48,100 per year, more women are joining Limon in pursuing heavy equipment operator careers. During the past five years, the percentage of women in the construction industry grew from two percent to 11 percent; the percentage continues to grow. Learn more about careers for women in construction:

After training on a Cat® Simulator, Salma Limon confidently operates dozers on real jobsites and plans to make it her career.