Women In Construction Week 2020: Celebrating The Women Making CFC Stronger

Women In Construction Week 2020: Celebrating The Women Making CFC Stronger

We’re privileged to have a truly brilliant group of women working at CFC. These strong, intelligent, resourceful, and eminently capable women are crucial and central components of CFC’s teams, whether they’re out in the field, working in the office, or sitting at the table with our leadership team. That’s why we kicked off Women in Construction Week (March 1-7, 2020) by taking the opportunity to spotlight some of the many women who are out there making a difference for CFC’s clients every day. 

As women everywhere seek new opportunities to expand their skills and become leaders positioned to innovate how work gets done, they’ll be well-served to consider a career in construction. The industry has evolved immeasurably over the past two decades. The old stereotypes are no longer valid. And while many of CFC’s women still face occasional questions about why they’ve chosen to work in construction, they’ve got plenty of answers. Whether it’s the challenges, the excitement, the many advancement opportunities, the potential to help build and shape their communities, or the close-knit “families” they inevitably form on their projects and work sites, they’ve all got several reasons they’re happy to call construction home.

Kira Chaffee, CFC Project Manager, LEED AP

Working in construction since 2001

Q: What do you like best about working in construction? And why should construction companies hire more women? 

A: “I love the non-stop, high-energy dynamic of working on-site, and being able to see all my team’s hard work actually get built right in front of my eyes. Every day is filled with challenges and opportunities to thrive. Needless to say, there’s never a dull day on a construction job site. And women bring a different perspective and problem-solving techniques to the table. Statistics show that more diversity in the workplace breeds more successful projects and teams.”

Nicole Lopez (Skalecke), CFC Project Coordinator

Working in construction since 2016

Q: What first attracted you to the work? And, relative to your gender, what’s the biggest change you’ve experienced in the industry since you began your career?

A: “I came upon this job on a referral, when I was looking to leave my airport job. But once I interviewed, I realized that construction isn’t just picking up a hammer and nails to build a building. There are so many aspects that are crucial in getting the job done. That’s what captivated me. Also, you’re basically a family. It’s just the coolest thing. I’ve never had that with any other job. Now, I see people slowly becoming more accepting of women in construction. Even when I first started, I’d get people who would say ‘You’re in construction? Why would a female do that?’, to which I’d always reply, ‘Yes, I work in construction. Because, why not?’” 

Alyson Mansfield, CFC Senior Estimator

Working in construction since 2008

Melissa Browne, CFC PreCon Intern

Working in construction since 2017

Q: Why should more women consider a career in construction? And what’s the biggest misconception people have about what it’s like to be a woman working in construction?

A: “Women should consider working in construction because we see the world differently than men do.  With our ideas and practices, we can contribute to making the industry better and more diverse. It’s amazing to be in an industry that literally affects everyone’s daily lives, from the roofs over our heads to the streets we walk down. Working in construction, I can see the changes I am making in cities that assist in the development of communities. In terms of misconceptions, many people think that if you are a woman in construction, you are some sort of champion for tackling a ‘man’s’ world. They say things like ‘good for you’ or ‘wow, impressive, a girl in construction.’ But in reality, it’s just like any other industry where everyone has to work hard to be taken seriously and professionally.”

Krista Lopez, CFC Project Coordinator

Working in construction since 2018

Q: What’s the biggest misconception people have about what it’s like to be a woman working in construction?

A: “Some people may believe that women only work in the office of a construction company. They may believe that the women never go out into the field and perform manual labor, or even have the knowledge to manage field operations. This isn’t the case. I’ve done my fair share of work out in the field. Working alongside my male coworkers, it’s been an adventure to prove to them that I can be an asset to them out in the field. I am sure other women in construction are in the same boat, trying to prove that they can help the team in any way, whether that means working in muddy conditions or even helping with concrete — which I have done without hesitation. Construction is a team-oriented field. The women are here to join it, and to conquer it.”

Brenda Pratz, CFC Area Superintendent

Working in construction since 2016

Autymn Rubal, CFC Special Projects Manager

Working in construction since 1998

Q: What’s it like to work in an industry in which you’re outnumbered by men?

A: “I started in construction in 1998. I was quite literally the only woman in the office sometimes, much less at the table. But it’s changing. There are more women entering programs for construction management or related fields. There are more women taking leadership positions within organizations. I feel like it’s all changing in a very progressive way.”

Laura Torrisi, CFC Controller & HR Manager

Working in construction since 2004

Q: Why should more women consider a career in construction?

A: “In terms of the projects coming down the pike in Denver, it’s an exciting place to be working and an exciting industry to be part of. The city is changing so much, and it’s crucial to make sure we have the right infrastructure. We’re helping to build it. Also, the ‘old boys’ club’ stereotype is changing. Women should not be discouraged from joining construction.”

Kristina Leifheit, CFC Project Engineer

Working in construction since 2019

Ali Fletcher, CFC Project Accountant

Working in construction since 2017

Q: What first attracted you to the work?

A: “Seeing our buildings grow, and the process of what it takes to build a new Denver.”

Interested in constructing your career at CFC? View our current openings or apply online.

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