Women in Construction Week: Meet eight women leading teams and projects at Skanska

This week, we’re celebrating Women in Construction (WIC) Week, which highlights the incredible work women are accomplishing in construction.

We sat down with eight women who are leading teams and projects across Skanska.

They discussed their successes, common misconceptions about the construction industry and how Skanska is creating a culture of diversity and inclusion.


What led you to pursue a career in the construction industry?

My father is a civil engineer that worked in the construction management industry.

In grade school, he would bring me to work to participate in “Take your child to work day.” He was very passionate about his job and the built environment. 

He gave me an opportunity to “peak behind the curtains” of the work environment at a young age. There was so much to take in. As a kid, I remember thinking how cool it was to be in the office and jump into a meeting, the next second in a jobsite trailer, minutes later outside on the field.

It’s funny looking back—he literally gave me a seat at the “construction meeting table” at the age of 12.

What is one of the biggest misconceptions about women working in the construction industry?

I’m going to offer two.

First, the industry is broad and career paths are not just limited to on-field work. It has some of the most diverse opportunities with varying career tracks. From skilled craft, project management, finance, innovation, business development, communications, marketing and much more.

I’ve witnessed many of my colleagues at Skanska come into the industry and grow from untraditional roles and thrive.

An undergraduate history major turned project executive, an executive assistant and field carpenter who grew into top executives, and an office administrator who is now leading one of our largest regions in a professional services group.

The other misconception is because it’s a male dominated industry, there’s not a lot of room for growth for women.

The industry is continuously evolving in its D&I journey and I’m so grateful in my 22 years to have had the opportunity to work with so many humble and genuine leaders, both men and women that have provided real mentorship, support and sponsorship for others.


What do you like most about working on our OZMA project in D.C.? 

OZMA is different from any other project that I’ve worked on. It’s my first time running a project of this magnitude as a project manager—I used to be a superintendent.

We’ve also put together one of the best teams I’ve been on, from project executive to project engineer. I’m very proud to be a part of this project.

How can construction attract more female candidates?

I think the best ways to attract female candidates is through early engagement in STEM fields, followed by mentorships.


What makes you proud of working in the construction industry?

Infrastructure is a lifeline, and I’m proud to have an impact on improving the daily life for all people in the communities where we execute work.

What does success look like for you?

Success is consistently putting your mind and soul into purpose. Success is training hard and embracing all opportunities.


What has been the most memorable moment in your career?

Leasing 100 percent of 121 Seaport to two tenants in a record-breaking eight weeks—from initial tours to signed leases. They both happened at the same time.

When real competition hit and both tenants wanted to be in more space, the heat really picked up and everyone was motivated to move fast.

Second, my year in Warsaw, Poland working for Skanska Commercial Development Europe (CDE). It was life changing both personally and professionally. The year changed my mentality around taking advantage of uncomfortable situations and how to navigate the unknown—both very important in life and as a real estate developer!

What are the advantages of being a woman in construction?

I love being a woman in the construction industry.

Every team and project need a well-rounded approach to accomplish goals and I can add a different perspective and approach.

I connect with people and build relationships—something that maybe comes a bit more naturally for women.

I’m not afraid to challenge people or ideas and get to the root of the issue. This is more difficult when you’re a woman because you can be perceived as difficult and aggressive as opposed to getting to the point and solving problems. With that said, I think it has served me well in my career. 


What advice would you give to a young woman entering the industry?

There is nothing that you can’t accomplish here.

There will be times where you don’t see a lot of women around you in the field or on projects, but that’s okay because the scenario is changing.

Have faith in yourself and your skills.

How is Skanska creating a culture of diversity in the construction industry?

Being diverse comes naturally for Skanska, be it gender or race. Skanska has been working towards it for long time and it’s now become an instinct rather than an active effort.

Everyone tries to learn about each other’s culture and take part in their beliefs.

For instance, on my project in Orlando, we use food to bond. We bring in different cuisine monthly and we enjoy it together.


What has been the most memorable moment in your career? 

Getting assigned my first big project as the lead project manager. It was a 60-story high-rise building that led to even larger project assignments.

What is the biggest benefit of having a diverse project team? 

Knowing that somebody on your team has probably dealt with whatever situation you are dealing with, whether its personal or professional. 

It’s comforting knowing that they are available as a mentor and can offer guidance and support.


How can construction attract more female candidates? 

We do a great job promoting our business and opportunities for females through internal D&I programs, networking, job fairs and college recruitment sessions.

We need to form stronger partnerships with our local high schools. Through these partnerships, we can help females visualize their growth potential and endless opportunities in construction.  

What has been the most memorable moment in your career? 

Throughout my career, I’ve had a lot of memorable moments and would not be able to choose just one. 

When I’m visiting project sites, meeting and speaking to our employees, living the Skanska values, and experiencing our employees’ pride, those are my most memorable moments. 


What’s the best part of your job? 

Leading a team of talented and passionate people to create beautiful, sustainable buildings that fit within the community. 

It’s rewarding to see team members solving problems, communicating, being open and creative about solutions and making mistakes.

Resilience during rough patches and the ability to learn from mistakes are a big part of our business.

What does success look like for you?

Success to me comes in many forms that are in the short and long term. To experience people living and working in a finished project is very rewarding and a sign of success.

These spaces become places for the backdrop of individual lives and add to their memories and experiences.

However, project completion takes years to come to fruition, so I also focus on daily successes, like when the project team is in alignment, functioning at their highest level and maintaining work/life balance. 

Want to join the women above in building a legacy in construction? Apply to one of our open positions here.