News, People

Weeraya (Wee) Orwatthana is a Senior Associate in the Braintree Office and has been with PMA for 6 years. She first became interested in the construction industry in 2004 after Phuket, her home city, was struck by a tsunami. The impact of this disaster brought her increased awareness of urban planning, renewal, construction management, and technology as crucial to ensuring the long-term resilience of a city.

Based on the projects she’s worked on and teammates she’s worked with at PMA, Wee has had only positive experiences being a woman in the construction industry. She notes that it can sometimes feel like people treat women in the industry with extra caution, but she has been lucky to be surrounded by great teammates and colleagues. However, Wee is aware that some women have different experiences working in the industry, depending on their working environments. She is thankful for the community that she’s found at PMA and the company’s respect for other minorities. She believes that the industry’s culture toward women and other minority groups is improving.

Wee credits Dennis Lucey, Managing Director, at PMA’s Braintree Office, as an effective mentor. During her work on the Siemens project, she absorbed much information from Dennis regarding both technical aspects and soft skills. Wee especially appreciated the informal lunchtime meetings with Dennis, which produced a very relaxed environment to discuss project progress, problems, or questions she encountered. She feels very thankful to have someone in her professional sphere to share, discuss, and learn from any obstacles.

While Wee hasn’t acted as a formal mentor for another woman in the industry, she acknowledges the benefit of sharing experiences from time to time in the workplace. She feels that it’s beneficial when colleagues can bond over challenging projects or real-life experiences. Wee also believes that mentoring and sharing with other women has helped her professional growth. It gives her an opportunity to analyze, summarize, and reflect on past experiences. Teaching others can often help one’s understanding of a specific topic, Wee notes.

Wee’s general advice to other women beginning careers in the industry is to keep learning, ask questions, and seek opportunities to enhance their skills. She emphasizes the importance of embracing each opportunity, whether big or small, as you never can be sure where an opportunity might lead. She also believes that embracing every career opportunity has been a considerable part of “finding herself,” and this approach would benefit other women in the industry.