Women in Construction Week: Jakki Mitchell, Jamaican Mother Succeeds in a “Man’s World”
TAMARAC – In an industry where women make up less than three percent of the workforce, Tamarac resident Jakki Mitchell has daringly defied odds by building a 20-year-career in construction, balancing that responsibility with that of being a dedicated mother to her 15-year-old son and still making time for volunteering, traveling and pre-dawn workouts.
Mitchell migrated to Florida from Kingston, Jamaica in 1991 where she jumpstarted her construction career.
Despite never foreseeing herself working in the industry, her disciplined and diligent spirit fueled her success and ultimately led to her current leadership role as a Suffolk Construction Project Controller for Jade Signature, the largest residential tower currently in Sunny Isles Beach.
“My team is nearly 30 percent female, which is significantly more than the industry average, and I hope our company’s impressive representation inspires women, regardless of their age, to be bold enough to challenge the status quo,” Mitchell said. “I feel blessed to represent a company that empowers and paves the way for women interested in construction to succeed and bridge this gender gap.”
As a woman of faith, Mitchell credits her relationship with God for giving her the strength to face the daily challenges that come with being a working professional and single mother. Despite her busy schedule, she is intentional about maintaining work-life balance, which entails gym workouts at 4:30 a.m. four to five days a week. Mitchell has also instilled the importance of service to her son as they both volunteer at their church, and participate in nursing homes visits and beach clean-ups.
“I grew up seeing my Dad give back to various organizations in Jamaica and to his community, so I wanted to pass this down to my son Stephen and show him the value of kindness and joyfully giving back to those who are less fortunate,” Mitchell said. “There is so much need right in our own backyard, and being able to address this need while serving alongside my son has strengthened our relationship tremendously.”
Mitchell is a registered volunteer parent with Broward County Schools and is actively involved in her son’s high school marching band as a chaperone for his trips and performances. On the same token, her son “chaperones” her personal travels around the world. Together, they have explored multiple countries in the Caribbean and Central America.
“Stephen and I have been horseback riding in Jamaica and Aruba, pet an alligator in Belize and swam with dolphins in Mexico,” Mitchell said. “All of my life experiences have helped me get to where I am today in my career as a strong Jamaican woman succeeding in a male dominated industry, and in my personal life as a mother who unapologetically pursues her passions.”