Crawford It would be nice to eliminate any need for a discussion about male-female stereotypes.
">Ponce Construction's Elizabeth Ponce I would change the "good old boy" system. There are a lot of agencies out there to this day that only like to use certain contractors. But there are some that have opened their doors, and that's where I've been able to be successful. A lot of agencies just do business with people they know—to a certain extent, I understand it. But if that could be changed, it would open the doors for many people to be more successful.
Vacca There has to be a very careful assessment of how special programs work to provide special consideration to women and minorities. A helping hand up front is OK, but continued enabling can make one weaker.
">University of Texas' Fernanda Leite I would increase automation at construction jobsites and in everything that feeds into them. I would encourage more BIM-based and 3D modeling, so you can build virtually before you hit the field.
Spain I would get rid of the office-versus- field mentality—one can't exist without the other, so it is really a very co-dependent relationship for a successful project. Haskell nurtures a team atmosphere, from CEO Steve Halverson to our permanent craft employees who travel from project to project.
How do you balance your work and your life?
">Per-forma Studio's Sarika Bajoria When you're in a creative discipline, it's hard to distinguish between the personal and professional. For me, this isn't a job—it's a lifestyle. Small rituals, like meditating for 10 minutes each morning, help me find a work-life balance. Being busy and being stressed is a state of mind I can control.
Arpino-Shaffer Family comes first. I didn't always have that understanding from my bosses, so I encourage work-life balance for employees. I want people to know they can get ahead even if they have a family. I never missed a game or a recital, but I've also never missed an important meeting.
Vacca Not well, although I am past the raising-kids stage. I had difficulty with the guilt about not spending enough time with my family and my job. It felt like [it was] a lose-lose a lot of time.
Spain Very carefully! Before my husband and I were married, we made a promise to each other that work is work, home is home. I usually take our son to school, and my husband picks him up. If weekend work is required, we alternate weekends.If it is necessary that we both be there, our son goes to work with us. He is very inquisitive about the work and enjoys seeing the projects, especially the large equipment. We had to travel only twice with him thus far, first to California and then to Baltimore. He has been able to meet other children from different locations and cultures. It has been quite good for him in that aspect.