After 20 years as an engineer, Dyan Bevins is used to being the only woman in the room.
“I always have the perspective that it’s not a negative thing,” she says. “I remind myself that I will add a new perspective to any meeting, or any room, that no one else could have, because they’re all men.”
That outlook has served her well. After earning her civil engineering degree from the University of Texas at Austin, she worked in mines in Denver and San Antonio before coming to Idaho for a six-month project in 1998. She met her husband here and decided to stay, entering the transportation engineering world in roles at AECOM, Sunrise Engineering and Parametrix. Bevins joined the Ada County Highway District in 2009 as a project manager, and was promoted in 2014 to capital projects supervisor.
In her time as a project manager, Bevins managed many successful projects, including Whitewater Park Boulevard in Boise and the widening of Ten Mile Road in Meridian. Now, as she supervises a group of project managers and a $40 million annual budget, she focuses more of her energy managing people rather than construction projects.
“It’s not as instant in gratification, but in a lot of ways it’s more gratifying than pavement on the road,” she says.
As a leader, Bevins is dedicated to helping her team members succeed. She subscribes to a leadership philosophy centered on collaboration and accessibility, and makes sure her team knows her door is always open if they need help.
Working as a member of a public agency, Bevins always has taxpayers in the back of her mind and aims to be as resourceful as possible with the projects her group oversees.
“Our projects are affecting people’s lives, their homes, and their commutes to work,” Bevins says. “We’re given a project to build a road from A to B, but it’s never that simple. We try to put out the best project for everyone.”
Bevins originally came to the highway district after an unexpected layoff in 2009. Overcoming the injury of losing her job and forging a successful career thereafter is one of Bevin’s proudest triumphs, and her colleagues count themselves lucky to have her.
“I have worked with many engineers over the past several decades, and Dyan stands head and shoulders above most,” says Dorrell R. Hansen, capital projects manager at Ada County Highway District.
Bevins says much of her passion for life comes from her faith, and from her upbringing in Texas. Though she spends much of her time these days in left-brain pursuits, Bevins has a creative side, too. She relaxes by creating paper greeting cards and spending time with her husband.
She also values learning from others in her field. Bevins currently serves as president for Treasure Valley’s Women’s Transportation Seminar chapter, and says her interest in the group was sparked by a trip she took to Portland for the national conference in 2014.
She says that as she looked around the room, she realized that for the first time in her career she was surrounded by 600 other women just like her.