What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? My greatest professional achievement was being appointed as Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Dellbrook | JKS. Being the first black woman in an Executive level position for one of the top construction firms in MA is a game changer and comes with much responsibility.
What are you most looking forward to post-pandemic? I started my new role at Dellbrook | JKS in the middle of the pandemic which meant most of the company was working remotely, so I am looking forward to everyone returning to the office and engaging in in-person meetings. I look forward to seeing actual facial expressions, reading body language, and good ole’ hugs and handshakes.
How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months? I had to adapt to new technology and ways to provide services that were once in-person through new virtual platforms. As part of my role the education, growth and development of minority trade partners is critical to our business and being able to still provide quality training, workshops, resources, and other information to our trade partners while not impeding on their time is integral to how we move forward as a company.
What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm? As it pertains to women in construction and how Dellbrook | JKS is supporting the growth and development of women in our company, we recently started the Dellbrook | JKS Women’s Collaborative. The DWC is an employee resource group focused on engaging, supporting, and empowering women at Dellbrook | JKS to pursue career and/or educational opportunities, provide mentorship to new women in the company, and engage in community outreach efforts.
Why should women consider a career in construction? Women are needed in construction! The stigma of construction being a male dominated industry is fading more and more now as this industry has seen more women enter the trades as well as executive level positions in the last five years.
Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? I started in construction as a compliance monitor for the city of Boston’s Residents Jobs Policy office which monitors construction in the city to make sure residents, people of color and women are working on construction projects. I became empowered by the fact I did not see people that looked like me when I would go out to some of the project sites. There were always a limited number of women and people of color on site performing the trades, they were even more scarce if you went into the trailer and pretty much non-existent if you ever went to a company’s office. This inspired my passion for creating opportunities for women and people of color in the industry.