Groundbreaking Women in Construction

May 14-16, 2018

The Palace San Francisco

Presented By
Engineering News Record
In Partnership With
Peckar & Abramson, P.C.

Tuesday, May 15

7:30 am - 8:30 am
Registration, Continental Breakfast & Exhibits

Discussion tables: To be announced



8:30 - 8:40 AM
Program Welcome & Introduction

Janice L. Tuchman, Editor-in-Chief, Engineering News Record
Melinda Gentile, Partner, Peckar & Abramson, P.C.



8:40 - 9:10 AM
Keynote: Beyond Proactive: Build That Talent Pipeline Now!

Ginger Evans, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA)

This veteran aviation industry leader in both the private and public sectors, who has worked globally and now manages one of the world’s busiest airport systems, will inspire emerging professionals in overcoming challenges in leadership and career-building.



9:15 - 10:15 AM
Panel Discussion: Women Break Barriers in Disruptive Technology

Disruptive technologies—from artificial intelligence and robots to autonomous vehicles, wearables and 3D printing—are changing the future of construction. Firms that lead the evolution of technology also have a greater chance for success. The process includes leveraging big data and advanced analytics to transform the construction experience. This GWIC panel will explore the roles of women leaders and innovators in breaking the boundaries on how things have always been done to increase efficiency, lower risk and costs, and boost the bottom line.

Moderator: Carey Smith, President of the Federal Group, Parsons Corp.

Jit Kee Chin, Chief Data Officer & Executive Vice President, Suffolk Construction Co.
Barbara Rusinko, President, Bechtel Nuclear, Security & Environmental Inc.
Danielle Enns, Director of Project Management, Serious Labs Inc.
Roz Buick, Vice President, Trimble



10:15 - 10:45 AM
Refreshments, Networking, Exhibits



10:45 - 11:45 AM
Panel Discussion: On Ramps / Off Ramps: Keeping Talented Women Engaged

There has been intense debate over the "opt-out revolution” for highly-qualified women professionals as disturb trends indicate they are dropping out of their careers. Are the complex demands of work and modern family life the problem? Or is it gender-based stereotyping? This session will provide an update on unique research as to why industry women head for the off-ramp and offer insights on how good employers are building a new narrative to keep women on the road to success. 

Moderator: Denise M. Berger, Chief of Operations, Engineering Department, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey

Romila Singh, Ph.D.. Associate Professor, Lubar School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee & Co-author of groundbreaking NSF-funded study on women leaving STEM fields
Angela Cotie, Project Executive, Gilbane Building Company
Erin N. Slayton,  Associate Vice President, HDR Inc.
Laura Royster, Senior Consultant, Saxon-Hamilton



11:50 - 1:30 PM
Facilitated Conversation Tables:

Topic 1: Women Mentors Matter
Learn why and how women make great mentors to younger women (and even men!) to pursue construction careers.
Facilitator: Diana Eidenshink, President, ACE Mentor Program of America

Topic 2: Industry Tech Startups: New Career Path
Two women share skill-sharing and skillbuilding strategies in new technology ventures. Hear details on two different startup journeys and how being a woman has provided each a unique career-change experience.
Meirav Cohen, CEO and Co-Founder, Versatile Natures (former Intel business operations manager)
Marielle Price, Director, Construction and Customer Success, Fieldwire (former Pankow Builders project manager)

Topic 3: Achieving Work-Life Success

Facilitator: Angeles Garcia-Tapia, Project Executive, McCarthy Building Cos. Inc.

This construction leader takes the approach that "when life gives you lemons, make strawberry lemonade.” Her road to success was not always clear as she immigrated from Mexico at age 26, but she became the first female project manager and then the first female project executive in McCarthy’s northern Pacific region, challenges magnified by caring for her disabled husband. She will share her story and talk with the group about how to find the strength not only to keep going but to actually achieve professional and personal success.

Topic 4: Write Your Own Job Description

Learn how one project manager created an independent company career path that played to her strengths and passions and how she, her employer and the built environment all benefit

Facilitator: Nicole Crone, MEP Project Manager, Integral Group

Topic 5:



1:30 - 3:00 PM
Breakout Sessions



1:30 - 2:10 PM
Track A: Become Your Firm’s Millennial Magnet!

Industry peers share tips to boost construction as the career choice for next-generation women and girls. We will explore changing priorities and constructive feedback early and often. Learn how to develop the right magnets for these critical hires. 

Julie Ditchfield, Assistant Project Manager, Cumming Corp.
Antonya Williams, Division Vice President, McCarthy Building Cos. Inc.

(will also include at least one student panelist)



Track B: Shake Feeling Like a Fake, Fraud or Imposter
The high cost to your life and business—AND how to overcome it!

Join this open and honest discussion of an issue that many women experience, and gain guidance to help you find the blind spot keeping success just beyond reach, understand the psychology of thinking and avoid words women use that undermine their authority

Presenter: Mary Bicknell, Consultant and Owner, See the Signs


Track C: Communicate & Connect - An Interactive Workshop on Personal Branding

Personal branding is a critical topic for women in our industry. How we are perceived by those we interact with can make or break our careers. The session will identify the elements of a powerful brand, with small groups to allow participants to share stories and offer feedback in an atmosphere of support.

Mona Haggag, Principal, Continuum Advisory Group
Kelcey Henderson, Operations Manager, Continuum Advisory Group



 2:20 - 3:00 PM
Track A: Construction Contracts: The Rules of the Game

You and your team are tasked with getting the project built safely, on time and under budget. Before you get started, you must understand the rules of the game – the terms and conditions set forth in the construction contracts that govern your company’s performance. Attend this session to understand many of the most common construction contract clauses and get to the finish line first every time.

Presenter: Caryl Shuham, Corporate Counsel, Moss & Associates LLC



Track B: Build Your High-Performing Team

Developing  a high performing construction team is one of the lowest cost and most impactful strategies to improve project results and reduce adversarial outcomes.  A former Intel innovation executive will present new approaches to teambuilding for women managers and creating the right project culture.

Presenter: Connor Butler, Managing Principal, Relevate


Track C: Turning Talk to Action

Gender diversity in leadership is an elephant-sized problem in the U.S. and around the world. Talking about the problem is good. Doing something about it is even better. In this interactive workshop, we will unpack what what it takes to be part of the solution. We will set goals and design actions so that we drive our ambition and find ways to fuel it. By asking for a seat at the table, striving for challenging projects and putting a hand up for a bigger position, you can take the next step. Learn how you can find the support you need and leave the session with a step-by-step plan that can make a difference.

Presenter/Facilitator:  Andrea Janzen, Professional Coach 



3:00 - 3:30 PM
Networking, Refreshments & Exhibits



3:30 - 4:15 PM
Keynote: Women Mean Business, And Why Male Buy-In Matters

Jeffery Tobias Halter
President, YWomen & Author, WHY WOMEN, The Leadership Imperative to Advancing Women & Engaging Men

This leading business consultant and former diversity strategy director at Coca-Cola will provide thought-leadership on how smart companies are leveraging the coming tsunami of women—and engaging more men—to create competitive advantage and achieve needed results. He will share strategies on how to execute your company’s business case for women in the marketplace and workplace; create an integrated women’s leadership strategy with measures to drive accountability; and engage male champions as advocates and sponsors.




4:15 - 5:00 PM
Panel Discussion: Advancing Women & Engaging Men

Panelists will share how best-in-class companies are taking practical, actionable steps to recruit, develop, advance and retain women—and focus on the critical role that men need to take. This panel of both male and female industry leaders and professionals will tell GWIC attendees what works at their companies and how to develop gender interactions that propel results for both the participants and their organizations.

Moderator: Jeffery Tobias Halter, President, YWomen

Brian Cahill, President-California Division, Balfour Beatty US
Afsaneh “Anna” Farokhi, Director of Commissioning & Turnover, Fluor Corp.
Alexandra Marino,Talent Acquisition Manager, Dragados USA
Chuck Hebert, Vice President, Customer Success, PlanGrid 



5:00 - 6:00 PM
Reception, Networking






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