Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? While getting my degree I traveled to Germany for two months to learn about lean car manufacturing, sparking my interest to pursue a career in lean strategies and logistics. Through my job search I discovered lean project roles within the construction industry. My mentor, Sue Klawans, also passionate about lean in construction, helped fuel my pursuit of increased efficiencies on the jobsite. As a superintendent, I’m now motivated by my ability to implement lean techniques onsite to support the trades’ experiences and help to deliver projects more efficiently and with less waste.
What tips or advice would you offer to other women who are considering entering the construction industry? A conventional background isn’t needed to enter the industry – it’s a differentiator. It provides a different set of skills and a unique perspective to approaching work and problem solving. Having experienced this myself, I’ve learned not to underestimate the impact of my soft skills. Building strong, trusting relationships with all project team members, especially in the field, makes all the difference. The trades take pride in their work and want to teach others about their craft. Asking questions helps connect and build respect while also learning more about their expertise, which is particularly great if you’re new to the industry.