2020 GWIC Agenda

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11:00 am - 12:00 pm ET
8:00 am - 9:00 am PT
Program Welcome & Introduction

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

Opening Keynote

Advocating for Diversity at Target—and Beyond!

Two leaders of retailer Target Corp.’s U.S. construction program will share their stories of leadership, navigating change and fostering industry diversity and inclusion. They also will provide attendees with an overview of the company’s current construction projects nationwide.

Amber Koehler, Senior Director, Construction, Target Corp.
Stephen Makredes, Vice President, Construction, Target Corp.

 


12:00 pm - 12:15 pm ET
9:00 am - 9:15 am PT
Break

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm ET
9:15 am - 10:15 am PT
Panel

The Director’s Chair: Why Women’s Board Voices Matter

More women are gaining a leadership voice as board directors—whether for their own firms or others—at a time when changing industry dynamics and competitiveness make oversight more critical than ever. This panel will explore gender differences in board interactions and company oversight, particularly in communication style, decision making and expectations. What strengths do women bring to boards? What are the key risks they face? Experienced women directors of AEC firms will share what’s critical today in effective board service and how it can be a career booster.

Moderator: Kristina Veaco, Founder and CEO, Veaco Group

Karen Colonias, CEO, Simpson Strong-Tie and Simpson Manufacturing
Danielle Dy Buncio, Co-Founder & CEO, VIATechnik; Director, Ryan Cos. and J.F. Brennan
Margaret Foran, Chief Governance Officer, Sr. Vice President and Corporate Secretary, Prudential Financial Inc.
Jacqueline Hinman, former Chair & CEO, CH2M

1:15 pm - 1:30 pm ET
10:15 am - 10:30 am PT
Break

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm ET
10:30 am - 11:30 am PT
Panel

Women Supporting Women: How “Ally-Ship” Promotes Teambuilding

Sponsored by:

For years, as women have competed in male-dominated professions, some have pushed down gender peers to succeed. But that paradigm is changing with the rise of a new kind of female leader—one who lifts others up as they climb. Panelists will discuss how to build teams with “ally-ship”—encouraging each other’s successes but also holding each other accountable. In this session, construction sector professionals will discuss how to recruit women to a team, build networks of successful women across organizations, and develop, train, and promote their success.

Moderator: Andrea Rutledge, CEO, Construction Management Association of America

Jessica Ostoyich, Project Executive, Mortenson
Angie Simon, CEO, Western Allied Mechanical; President, Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors Association

 


2:30 pm - 3:00 pm ET
11:30 am - 12:00 pm PT
Break

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PT
Panel

The Diversity Spectrum

Panelists will address their diverse backgrounds and obstacles they broke through to become successful construction role models. They will explain how their individual perspectives inform their decision-making processes and leadership approaches, with compelling stories that will inspire you to mobilize your own personal story to advance in the industry.

Moderator: Scott Blair, Managing Editor, Engineering News-Record

Menzer Pehlivan, Geotechnical Engineer, Jacobs
Jackie Richter, President, Heels and Hardhats and Endurance Utility Corp.
LaToya Thompson, Fire Sprinkler Specialist, Hilti North America and Public Relations Director, Women in Construction Operations (WiOPS), Northern California

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm PT
Virtual Roundtables

Sponsored by:

Facilitators will host small-group video meetings various topics of interest

Rooms hosted by:
Amber Koehler, Senior Director, Construction, Target Corp.
Stephen Makredes, Vice President, Construction, Target Corp.

 

11:00 am - 12:00 pm ET
8:00 am - 9:00 am PT
Opening Keynote

What Works for Women at Work

Described as having close to “rock star status” in the field of work-family studies and modern workplace flexibility policies and one of the field’s 10 most cited experts, Joan has played a central role in reshaping the conversation about work, gender, and class over the past quarter century. A noted researcher and prolific author, she collaborated with the Society of Women Engineers on a seminal study of race and bias issues among 3,000 engineers, while her book What Works for Women at Work was praised in one review as a “how-to primer for ambitious women.” Joining Joan on stage will be co-author Rachel Dempsey, herself a successful employment attorney and Joan’s daughter. Don’t miss this two-generation view of how to navigate stubborn patterns of gender bias in any workplace.

Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law and Founder, Center for Work-Life Law, University of California-Berkeley
Rachel Williams Dempsey, Civil Rights Litigator, San Francisco


12:00 pm - 12:15 pm ET
9:00 am - 9:15 am PT
Break

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm ET
9:15 am - 10:15 am PT
Panel Discussion

Decoding the Gender Pay Gap: How Women and Employers Seek Equity

Laws and policies are shifting to demand that employers strive to balance the gender pay gap. This panel will provide perspective on how the imbalance is defined by more deep-rooted gender differences than just equal pay for equal work and how leaders approach compensation with transparency and data driven decision-making.

Moderator: Jean McGrory, Director of Total Rewards, Mortenson

Kim Baxter, Vice President - Client Services, National Roofing Partners
Michael Headrick, Vice President & District Manager, PCL Construction
Stephanie Kaufman, Senior Associate - DHG Search, Construction & Real Estate Division

 


1:15 pm - 1:30 pm ET
10:15 am - 10:30 am PT
Break

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm ET
10:30 am - 11:30 am PT
Presentation

Survive and Thrive in Construction: How Persistent Women Make Change Happen

Sponsored by:

Practitioner-researchers share research that women who persist in construction do differ from non-persisters in level of occupational commitment and perceived ability to navigate in their organization’s culture.

Amy Lewis, Construction Project Manager, Long Range Facilities Planning; PhD candidate, Oklahoma State University
Monica Perrin, Senior Project Manager, Capital Programs Management Group; PhD candidate, Arizona State University

 


2:30 pm - 3:00 pm ET
11:30 am - 12:00 pm PT
Break

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PT
Panel

Continuing Legal Education credits offered

Enhancing Women’s Skills in Dispute Resolution

Dispute avoidance and early dispute resolution are important legal strategies for which attorneys need well developed skills. This panel will enhance lawyers’ existing proficiency and share critical tools to save project time and cost and maintain strong business relationships. Learn how to achieve successful resolutions for all parties and how to recognize and diffuse potential disputes early before they reach the litigation, arbitration or mediation stage. We will also examine how artificial intelligence and predictive analytics are creating new efficiencies.

Moderator: Melinda S. Gentile,Partner, Peckar & Abramson

Deborah S. Ballati, Mediator and Arbitrator, JAMS
Leslie O’Neal, Associate General Counsel, Brasfield & Gorrie LLC
Carla Rydholm, Director of Product Management; Lex Machina
Joan Stearns Johnsen, Mediator and Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association; Director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution, University of Florida Levin College of Law

 


4:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm PT
Virtual Roundtables

Sponsored by:

Facilitators will host small-group video meetings various topics of interest

Rooms hosted by:

Joan Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law and Founder, Center for Work-Life Law, University of California-Berkeley & Rachel Williams Dempsey, Civil Rights Litigator, San Francisco

 

11:00 am - 12:00 pm ET
8:00 am - 9:00 am PT
Keynote

What Drives Engagement, Empowerment & Innovation:
How 2020 Has Sharpened Our Vision

This talk will feature a look back at the last decade on what drives engagement, empowerment, and innovation among women and men in construction and engineering. It will offer ideas on ways to sharpen our focus for creating engaged, empowered, and inclusive workplaces that foster creativity and innovation – in 2020 and this new decade.

Romila Singh, PhD, Associate Professor, Lubar School of Business, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


12:00 pm - 12:15 pm ET
9:00 am - 9:15 am PT
Break

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm ET
9:15 am - 10:15 am PT
Panel

Why Psychological Safety Matters in Construction

A recent Google study found that of five key attributes found in winning teams, psychological safety beat dependability, structure and clarity, meaning, and impact as most critical. It also concluded that the team with the most experience was not always the most successful, but the one whose members perceived they could take risks in front of their peers, had each other’s trust and felt safe without judgment. Panelists will share insights into working on jobsite and office teams with—and without—psychological safety, and what they have done to make positive changes in their workplace team dynamics.

Monique S. Cardenas, General Counsel, Suffolk Northwest at Suffolk Construction
Kevin McCain, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Seattle, Skanska
Romila Singh, PhD, Associate Professor, Lubar School of Business, Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

1:15 pm - 1:30 pm ET
10:15 am - 10:30 am PT
Break

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm ET
10:30 am - 11:30 am PT
Panel

Broaden Your Influence Beyond The Project

Sponsored by:

Changemakers are revolutionizing collaboration among stakeholders in delivery of projects and more broadly to practitioners and clients beyond the project with similar challenges. This session will present a wide view of what is possible in an AEC career as we stretch beyond “project centric” to become true influencers in the industry.

Moderator: Jumoke Akin-Taylor,Project Manager, City and County of San Francisco Public Works; Member, CMAA NorCal Board of Directors

Michelle Macauley, Founder and Principal Engineer, Macauley Trenchless; Board member, North American Society for Trenchless Technology
Alicia Wachtel, Executive Director, Cedars Sinai Health System
Barbara Wagner, Senior Vice President, Clark Construction
Carol Warkoczewski, Senior Architect, City of San Antonio and Founder, Institute for leadership in Capital Projects

 


2:30 pm - 3:00 pm ET
11:30 am - 12:00 pm PT
Break

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm PT
Panel

A Wakeup Call about Unconscious Bias

It’s easy to recognize biases expressed by others, yet how often do we take a step back and admit our own? In the workplace, bias can limit people’s understanding, empathy, and negatively impact individuals, teams and cultures. This panel will explore the importance of unconscious bias awareness and discuss strategies to assess workplace dynamics with candor, counteract biases, develop training that works and create equal opportunities.

Moderator: Julie Moss, Human Resources Director, Rosendin Electric

Kelly Cowan, Project Executive, XL Construction
Heidi DeBenedetti, Senior Vice President, Gilbane Building Co.
Dredeir Roberts, In-House Counsel, Core-States Group; former President, Black Law Student Association, Drexel University


4:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm PT
Virtual Roundtables

Sponsored by:

Facilitators will host small-group video meetings on various topics of interest

 

12:15 pm - 1:15 pm ET
9:15 am – 10:15 am PT
Presentation

Breaking Through the Concrete Floor: Tradeswomen Leadership, Advocacy and Support Networks in North America

Tradeswomen leaders update key successes and continuing challenges in moving women into top ranks of union and company leadership and advocacy and in expanding support networks in North America.

Leah Rambo, Director of Training for SMART Local 28, Sheet Metal/Labor-Management
Lauren Sugarman, Director and Co-founder, National Center for Women's Equity in Apprenticeship and Employment, Chicago Women in Trades

 


1:15 pm - 1:30 pm ET
10:15 am - 10:30 am PT
Break

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm ET
10:30 am - 11:30 am PT
Panel

More than a Diversity Goal: Black Women in Construction

Recent events highlighting social and racial injustice in the United States and around the world have opened the door to more frank discussions about race and diversity in all industries, including construction. Despite major construction firms generating billions per year, Black construction firms account for 2.6% of the industry. What will it take for Black women and businesses to see a change in construction?

Our panelists will discuss the current barriers to true inclusion in Construction, Architecture, Engineering and related industries, including the implicit bias that Black people endure in the workplace. The panel will address how Black women and businesses are severely underrepresented and underutilized throughout the industry, and actionable steps that major firms can take to create viable opportunities. Discussions will also address the importance of mentorship, sponsorship, and partnership, and how an inclusive workplace culture positively impacts the bottom line.

Moderator: Jennifer Todd, President and Owner, LMS General Contractors Inc.

Stephanie Burns, Vice President, Head of Community & Citizenship NYC, Turner Construction Co.; President, Women Builders Council
Sharon Coleman, Owner & President, Coleman Construction Inc.
Cheryl McKissack Daniel, President & CEO, McKissack
Audrey-Jane Morgan, Employment Coordinator, Nontraditional Employment for Women NYC (NEW)
Gloria Samuel, Vice President, Retail Construction, Fifth Third Bank