What was your greatest professional achievement or most notable project in the last 12 months? I was instrumental in winning and kicking-off the Springfield Court Square Public Realm Master Plan project in downtown Springfield, MA. This project will transform Springfield’s historic Court Square district into a vibrant cultural hub that generates dynamic shared experiences. As the prime consultant and project manager for this project, my role is to lead the design team, including landscape architects, engineers, lighting designers, wayfinding consultants, historians, and cost estimators, to develop plans for public realm improvements that achieve the city’s goals.
When you’re not busy, what is your go to book or podcast to help you unwind? I am an NPR junkie, so when I’m in the car, taking a walk, or powering through some CAD work, I’ll often turn to my favorite NPR shows to catch up on the news or learn about something I didn’t even know I would be interested in. On the weekends, I never miss the latest episode of Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.
Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? I was fortunate to work with and learn from many female landscape designers and landscape architects in leadership positions. They would offer tips for how to be a strong presence when you’re the only woman in a meeting, or on the job site. I would watch their behavior and imitate it, until I found a style and manner of my own. Today my confidence comes from knowing that my unique perspective and expertise are critical to my projects’ success.
What tips or advice would you offer to other women who are considering entering the construction industry? More women entering the construction industry is transforming how projects are planned and built for the better. The industry reaps huge benefits, but it has a way to go when it comes to gender equality. Enter the field knowing that you are an asset and demand equal pay. Amplify women’s voices. Know your rights and insist on proper accommodations for all women, especially pregnant and nursing mothers. If you have children or plan to in the future, seek out employers that offer a flexible work schedule and remote work.