Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? When I first started 25 years ago, there were few women in construction. I found that lots of men did not want women to join the “boys club” and worked hard to discourage me and prove I could not be successful. I did have two male bosses who saw the value in me, saw my work ethic and encouraged me. It was those individuals and their belief in me that helped me continue and move from estimator to become a senior project manager in charge of the construction of new mid-rise buildings in NYC.
Within your firm, who has helped you succeed within the industry? How have they helped you? Within EBI I have worked for two amazing managers, Frank Cook and Caroline D’Agostino, in the past 8 ½ years. Both of them have encouraged me to advance and take on new roles within the group. They both have seen my hard work and dedication and have always been appreciative of the effort I put forth. Our professional relationships have developed due to a strong mutual respect and admiration. They truly are the two best managers I have ever worked for and it is those relationships that make me so happy in my current company.
When you’re not busy, what is your go to book or podcast to help you unwind? I love to listen to podcasts when I run and my favorite is Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. I especially like when he interviews experts in various fields like science, business, psychology as they are not only enjoyable, but I always learn something.
What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? My greatest professional achievement in the last 12 months was advancing in our group to become a program director managing all of the proposals and new opportunities. This advancement has allowed me to work more with our clients and to work closer with the practice leader. I am now involved in the new work that our group engages, the staffing of our team and the financial goals of our group.
What tips or advice would you offer to other women who are considering entering the construction industry? Fortunately the construction industry is much more diverse now. Any woman who wants to be part of it needs to have a thick skin and understand that there are still men who think women shouldn’t be involved. I think that the best way to prove someone wrong is to work hard, even harder than their male counterparts, and prove that they have the skills and knowledge to be an asset. The other women that I have met have proven that women are great multi-taskers, an important skill as a Project Manager, and they excel at collaborating and being team players.