Groundbreaking Women in Construction

May 23-24, 2019

Hyatt Regency San Francisco

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

Tuesday, May 15

7:30 am - 8:30 am
Registration  -  Regency Foyer 
Continental Breakfast & Exhibits - Gold Ballroom


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

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


Safety Moment: Reese Fortin, Health Safety, and Environmental Manager, PCL Construction California Buildings Group

8:40 - 9:10 AM - Grand Ballroom
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 - Grand Ballroom
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, Federal Business Unit, Parsons

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 - Gold Ballroom
Refreshments, Networking, Exhibits



10:45 - 11:45 AM - Grand Ballroom
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 - 1:20 PM - Ralston Room (1st floor) and Sunset Court (2nd floor)
Facilitated Conversation Tables:

NOTE: Open tables also are available if conversation tables are full or for those not wishing to join a conversation table.

Topic 1: Women Mentors Matter - Lunch Room Ralston
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: Carving a Career Path in Industry - Lunch Room Sunset Court
Learn details of how one woman’s journey from Pankow Builders project management to tech startup was a unique career-change experience.
Facilitator: Marielle Price, Director, Construction and Customer Success, Fieldwire (former Pankow Builders project manager)

Topic 3: You Too Can Be an Entrepreneur—One Woman’s Story - Lunch Room Ralston
Gain insights on opportunities, and challenges, in developing a construction tech startup and how one woman CEO, a former Intel business operations manager, uses data mining to provide jobsites with real-time information and cost savings. She will also discuss hidden biases for women and skillbuilding strategies.
Facilitator: Meirav Oren, CEO and Co-Founder, Versatile Natures

Topic 4: Achieving Work-Life Success - Lunch Room Sunset Court
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.
Facilitator: Angeles Garcia-Tapia, Project Executive, McCarthy Building Cos. Inc.

Topic 5: Write Your Own Job Description - Lunch Room Ralston
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 6: Marketplace Update—Key Trends You Should Know - Lunch Room Sunset Court
Hear the latest on important labor relations and legislative developments and trends affecting construction in California, the western region and the U.S—from ballot issues and tax reform to labor shortages and immigration edicts.
Facilitator: Lucia Maramonte, Labor & Member Services Specialist, United Contractors, (representing 450 Bay Area contractors) 

Topic 7: Women and Risk—Explore the 50 Shades - Lunch Room Ralston
Understand how women fit in construction risk management today and recognize if you’re a risk taker, risk avoider or just risk neutral. How do women manage risk both similarly and differently than men and how can that impact negotiations, closings and client service?
Facilitator: Danette Beck, Managing Director, Marsh-West Zone Construction Practice

Topic 8: Creating a Safety Culture is Key - Lunch Room Sunset Court
Jobsite accidents are unproductive and costly, but they are happening more often in complex construction work environments. Learn key strategies to create a culture of safety that will keep workers healthy and projects on track and come share aproaches that work on your job sites!
Facilitators: Reese Fortin, Health Safety and Environmental Manager, PCL Consturcion California Buildings Group
Kim Cameron,
Health, Safety, and Environmental Program Development Supervisor, PCL Industrial

Topic 9: You-Too!
Talk with ENR About Sex Harassment in Construction-Problems and Solutions! - Lunch Rooms Ralston and Sunset Court
ENR is planning a major editorial look at sex-based harassment, misconduct and misalignment in the AEC sector, and we need to hear your stories and whether legacy cultural norms that have enabled bad behavior and unequal opportunity still continue. As women take leadership positions, does it change the dynamic? Where are the pain points? Best practices for prevention?un
Table A Facilitator: Janice L. Tuchman, Editor-in-Chief, ENR
Table B Facilitator: Debra K. Rubin, Editor-at-Large, ENR

Topic 10: Using Technology as an Enabler to Advance Women in Construction (sponsored by Autodesk) - Lunch Room Ralston
In the past two decades, technology has rapidly transformed most global industries. Is construction keeping up? Join this discussion to further explore how technological disruption is changing the way we build and creating a new mechanism to level the playing field for women. We’ll share experiences to learn how women are using technology as an equalizer.
Facilitators: Laurie Spitler, Industry Strategy Manager-Construction, Autodesk
Kristen Sylva, Construction Industry Marketing Manager, Autodesk

Topic 11: Total Team Engagement: Strategies for Strong Teams and Successful Outcomes - Lunch Room Sunset Court
Local construction leaders share how enhanced employee engagement helped foster a productive team environment that was instrumental in successful fast-track delivery of a 420-unit,13-story residential building in downtown San Francisco. Learn how to build team engagement hat translates to improved efficiency, collaboration, and communication on the job.
FacilitatorsJamie Gilman, Project Executive, Clark Construction Group
Lauren Fohl, Senior Project Manager, Clark Construction Group

Topic 12: The Tech Evolution/Revolution Facing Construction - Lunch Room Sunset Court
Historically, construction is one of the least digitized industries. Up to one-third of the average construction worker’s day is taken up by non-productive activities such as waiting for directions, materials or updated information and drawings. With the recent heavy momentum of innovation in the Built World, what opportunities will arise for women in the construction sector and for other underrepresented industry groups? 
Facilitator: Emily Tsitrian, Director of Consulting Services, PlanGrid

1:30 - 3:00 PM
Breakout Sessions



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

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.
Sydney Nguyen, Architecture student, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo




Track B: Shake Feeling Like a Fake, Fraud or Imposter - Twin Peaks - 2nd floor
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, LCSW,  Consultant & Women’s Mentor, See the Signs



Track C: Communicate & Connect - An Interactive Workshop on Personal Branding - Sea Cliff - 2nd floor

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.

Facilitator: Mona Haggag, Principal, Continuum Advisory Group



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

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 ShuhamCorporate Counsel, Moss & Associates LLC



Track B: Build Your High-Performing Team - Twin Peaks - 2nd floor

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 - Sea Cliff - 2nd floor

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 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 - Gold Ballroom
Networking, Refreshments & Exhibits 



3:30 - 4:15 PM - Grand Ballroom
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 - Grand Ballroom
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 - Sunset Court - 2nd floor
Reception, Networking