Women in Construction Week 2024: Nadine Resler


One thing that has always been true: construction is messy. Nails, dirt, material, cleaning up is always a part of the building process for each contractor doing work on any given job. However, making sure contractors keep their work sites to clean and to code by City standards is exactly what Building Inspection Code Enforcement Officer Nadine Resler does every day starting from the first moment she gets to the job site.

“When I get here, I physically look at the roads—make sure they’re clear of any dirt and big rocks, stuff like that, that’s going to be hard to drive out and track down the road,” Resler said. “The next thing I look at is the sidewalks to make sure they’ve been cleared. They have until the end of the day, but if it’s bad during the day, we want them to periodically clear.”

Keep the job site in compliance, or get a citation from the City, it’s a pretty clear standard for anyone wanting to build in the City of Madison. Communicating with contractors isn’t new for Resler, she’s been in the construction industry for 30 years. 

“I grew up in Wisconsin, but I left when I was in my 20s, and ended up in Missouri for quite a few years,” Resler said. “I ended up getting married and had a couple kids—but I was in construction down there.”

Resler worked as an electrician for 25 years in the Columbia, Mo., then worked for the City of Columbia as a building inspector. 

“Well it’s [the construction industry] changed a lot! There are more women, we are still in the minority, but there are more women,” Resler said. “I see women doing roofing and siding, concrete and stuff like that. Down south I saw a steel worker, and she was the foreman.” 

Nadine Resler

In addition to now requiring portable restrooms on site, there are a lot of changes for the better since difficult situations in the past. 

“Years ago, I had a gentleman on the job site, who said to me, ‘You don’t belong here,’ and I looked at him and I said, ‘What makes you think so?’” Resler said. “He says, ‘You’re a woman. You shouldn’t be on the job. Well now days you’d be in trouble for saying that. And I told him, ‘You know what? I pull my weight just as much if not more than all the men… After a few months, he came up to m and said, ‘You know what? You do pull your weight – I was wrong..” 

Since then, Resler said she’s been dedicated to proving people wrong in the industry, and working hard to earn respect she deserves. Resler said the key to her success in the industry has been good communication, and the more open everyone is on the job site to communicating in a professional way, the better work environment for all and even future women in the industry.

“I think women in construction is wonderful,” Resler said. “The more women we can get out here, the better. Every nationality. Every walk of life should be in this construction industry.” 

Resler loves being in the construction industry, and hopes other young women will consider it, too. 

“For younger women—you’ve got to want to be in this type of thing. You’re going to break your nails. You’re going to get calluses. You’re going to be in a man’s world still,” Resler said. “We’re trying to make it the woman’s, but it’s still a man’s world.” 

Resler said the construction world is rewarding, even when working through difficult situations and messy work sites.

“There’s some great guys and of course some guys give you a hard time, but don’t take the hard times seriously and persevere through it,” Resler said. 

While it’s always been true, that construction can be a messy job, but it is as equally true that it doesn’t have to be thanks leaders cleaning it up and creating change for the next generation of women in the construction industry.

The City of Madison is highlighting the work of five women during National

 Women in Construction Week March 3-9, 2024

Women in Construction Week Banner 2024
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