2021 Women in Construction: Jean McQuestion, Senior Project Manager, BW Kennedy Co.

March 26, 2021 - Spotlights

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? The most notable project in the last twelve months was the completion of a new four-story 221,000 s/f life sciences building. The project has earned an Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors. An Eagle Award is the ABC’s highest award recognizing overall excellence in project execution, safety and client satisfaction. In addition to that significant achievement, the building was 100% leased by four prominent life sciences firms prior to its completion which certainly pleased our client.

What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm? I approach each day with the goal of meeting client expectations and delivering a quality project on time and on budget. I assist with recruitment and continue to mentor the younger members of the BW Kennedy team who are exceptionally talented and eager to learn more.

What are you most looking forward to post-pandemic? Spending in-person time with family and friends.

How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months? During Governor Baker’s work stoppage last year, I worked from home for two months and adapted to interacting with clients, architects, subcontractors via Zoom. While this was certainly not my preferred venue, I remained productive with the non-construction activities such as buy-out, coordination, procurement. When the work stoppage was lifted, I confidently returned to the job site knowing that BW Kennedy had instituted a comprehensive COVID-19 protocol program to ensure safety and well-being at our job sites. On site, I wear a mask, self-certify daily, maintain social distancing and continue to meet via Zoom.

What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm? I approach each day with the goal of meeting client expectations and delivering a quality project on time and on budget. I assist with recruitment and continue to mentor the younger members of the BW Kennedy team who are exceptionally talented and eager to learn more.

Why should women consider a career in construction? Construction is a rewarding field for personal growth and the opportunity to construct/renovate buildings, which benefit communities. I have spent my career creating new spaces to house life science laboratories and constructing new schools. These completed projects lead to advancements in healthcare and allow students an improved learning environment. A career in construction offers women the opportunity to be part of a gratifying experience. I have found that project teams welcome women and treat women like equals. For a long time, I was the only woman in the room but that is no longer the case.

Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? My co-workers inspired me and when I saw the opportunity to advance from office manager to join a project team and relocate to the field I anxiously pursued it. I studiously applied myself to learn all I could from my project manager and superintendent who were very forthcoming in sharing their knowledge and experience.

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