2021 Women in Construction: Stephanie Swartz, Senior Project Manager, Shawmut Design and Construction

March 26, 2021 - Spotlights

What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? For the last 5 years, I have been working at The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston on a multi-phased project—which includes emphasis on masonry repairs, exterior window protection, and new roofing. The Church, which is situated at the center of the Christian Science Plaza consists of two sections—The Original Church built in 1894 and The Extension completed in 1906. Both structures are undergoing restorations that started in 2017 and will be completed in 2022.

What are you most looking forward to post-pandemic? A European vacation!

How have you adapted and changed in the last 12 months? I think connectivity has been one of my biggest personal and professional challenges in the last year. Virtual meetings and calls have helped facilitate my interactions in many ways. For example, I currently schedule meetings with my team and our client on a weekly basis and I also join my book club and gym friends via virtual meetings. Although these meetings have helped connect me during the pandemic, I am looking forward to being able to gather in groups again for business and social purposes.

What steps have you taken to ensure the continued success of your firm? The project I am currently working on has been successful because of the team dynamics. I believe creating an environment of inclusion and collaboration is essential for teamwork. Each member of our team is dedicated to open-mindedly solving problems, which, in turn, has created strong relationships with all team players—including the design team, as well as the owner. I believe these traits of our team set us apart from many other project teams.

Why should women consider a career in construction? Construction is a dynamic field that fosters creative problem solving, which can be very rewarding. Many projects present unique and endless challenges, however at the end of every project, it is satisfying to see tangible evidence of your work.

Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? From my early years in construction, I really enjoy developing and coordinating the various aspects of a building and watching the parts and pieces fit together. For me, that is the most rewarding part of being in construction!

 

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