Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? I really have to highlight our CEO Jay Calnan. Following a big industry event one day, I jokingly mentioned the experience was akin to “wading through a sea of blue suits and silver hair.” Jay responded in a supportive way by saying, “So what can we do to help you change it?” Those words showed me that at JC&A, there would be no obstacles to achieving what I wanted in my career. That empowerment enabled me to form the Professional Ladies Association (PLA!), an association that enables women in the AEC industry to connect through networking, education, social events and philanthropy. My work on PLA! through JC&A would open the doors to other leadership positions, including President-elect for CoreNet NE. My career path has evolved from marketing director at JC&A to partner. Within the industry, I evolved from an active young leader within CoreNet Global NE to its president-elect, and from wanting a place for women in AEC to network to co-founding PLA! My early days had always been about trying to “keep up with the boys,” whether it was being the only girl on the baseball team, or attending Bentley, where a majority of students were male, or choosing a career path in construction.
It wasn’t until I came to JC&A that I truly felt empowered to change this tired dynamic. I am proud to work at JC&A, where women are empowered and represented across all departments. And I’m proud that trying to “keep up with boys” is no longer a focus. Working alongside the women of JC&A who crush it in the office, in the field and in our communities, is an incredibly uplifting experience. These women, in their variety of roles, have been instrumental to the overall success of our company.