GTA Construction Report special feature
Lena Wang started practicing construction law in 2013 with early experience in insurance defence and an undergrad science (biology) degree. She is now an associate with Glaholt LLP.
She says, although her transition to construction law happened by chance, now that she is practicing here, she enjoys its complexity. “I am an avid reader and always interested in learning about new topics, and I find there’s always something new to learn in this area.”
Glaholt LLP assists clients involved in litigation, arbitration, and mediation. “The complexity of many of our files makes the work intellectually stimulating and I like the challenge of finding a way to resolve the disputes for our clients in an efficient and valuable way.”
Wang says she believes women have a lot to bring to the table in any field, but particularly in fields where women are underrepresented. “I think having a workforce that is balanced with respect to gender helps to create a better environment for everyone, men and women. Maybe I am still very green and naïve, but I think attitudes towards women in the workforce, particularly areas where women are underrepresented, are changing, albeit slowly in some fields.”
It can be intimidating and difficult working in an industry where men hold powerful positions, she said. “This is true for both law and construction.”
“The urge to blend in, to be ‘one of the guys’ is strong, but I try to remind myself that there are lots of women navigating challenging industries and having successful careers everywhere, and they do it in their own way. This is what I am trying to do, one day at a time.”
Her advice to women considering careers in male-dominated industries is to find someone doing the work they want to be doing and to talk to them about how they got there. “Having a good mentor can really make a difference.”