2019 GWIC Agenda

View the GWIC 2019 Speaker Biographies

Wednesday, May 22

4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Lower Atrium

Registration – badge pick-up


Agenda is in formation and will be augmented as it develops.


Thursday, May 23

7:30 am - 8:30 am
Market Foyer
Grand Ballroom Foyer


Continental Breakfast & Exhibits

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

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

8:40 am - 8:45 am
Grand Ballroom
Safety Moment

Cheryl Luther General Superintendent, JE Dunn Construction

8:45 am - 8:55 am
Grand Ballroom
Keynote Introduction

Courtney Hunt, Senior Design Director, WeWork

8:55 am - 9:55 am
Grand Ballroom
Keynote Address
Sally Helgesen — How Women Rise

This celebrated women’s leadership expert and coach and author of the newly published How Women Rise: Break the Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion or Job, will draw on her work with legendary executive coach Marshall Goldsmith to identify and address behaviors most likely to impede women seeking to move to a higher level. Please join us for GWIC's don't-miss opening session!


10:00 am - 11:00 am
Grand Ballroom
Panel Discussion

Executive Ideals and the Realities of Inclusion: How Male Leaders Drive Change
This panel will address what can construction companies can do to instill an inclusive environment for women, and how men in executive leadership roles can drive the process. The discussion will begin with an overview of ongoing research by FMI Corporation in the area of creating and fostering an inclusive environment across platforms, and move into a discussion of female leadership and how construction companies can create greater opportunities for women.

• Executive perceptions of an inclusivity and how the concept is lived day-to-day by female industry leaders – gaps and fixes
• The role of executive leadership in influencing inclusion and diversity efforts throughout an organization
• The male perspective on women’s leadership and advancement
• How leaders can direct intentional, focused and targeted planning in areas including recruitment, training and development, promotion and career advancement, mentorship opportunities and succession planning to help shift the paradigm
• Determining goals and measuring success

Moderator: Paige Kelly, Consultant, FMI Corp.

Chad Mathes, Executive Vice President, Dragados USA
Eric Stenman, President, Balfour Beatty Buildings
Jay Tangney, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Suffolk Construction

11:00 am - 11:30 am
Grand Ballroom Foyer
Networking, Refreshments & Exhibits

11:30 am - 12:30 pm - Grand Ballroom
Panel Discussion

Token Advance or True Experience: Removing the Qualifier to Gain Parity

Some feel women have advanced simply because of gender or ethnicity—not because of experience. Are we focusing too much on being women and not enough on our accomplishments? Panelists will explore how employers can recognize women’s success without having to use the qualifier.

Moderator: Kristen Sylva, Marketing Manager, Autodesk

Deborah Brown, Vice President, Director Alternative Delivery, WSP
Cathy Orquiola, Vice President, PCL Construction
Lucy Villanueva, Project Executive, DPR Construction
Jacqueline Dompe, Northwest Regional Director, JLL


12:30 pm - 1:40 pm

Optional Facilitated Conversation Tables
Facilitators will host tables on 15-20 topics of interest

How to Have a Courageous Conversation:
Facilitator: Mary Hart, Principal, Corgan
Architect and retired Lt. Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard will lead discussion about how to navigate your emotional mind and your rational mind to confront challenging interpersonal communications, with a goal to achieve positive outcomes. In her military duty while working at Corgan, Mary earned the Bronze Star medal for service in Iraq.

Carving Career Paths:
Facilitator: Ruchira Banerjee, Project Management, Enstoa
Ruchira shares her more than fifteen-year experience building a career in construction within a male dominated environment. Participants will discuss leadership, how to be assertive and build the path that is right for them.

Reimagining the Jobsite—From Trailers to Teambuilding
Facilitator: Cara Lanigan, Vice President, Clark Construction
We will explore creating an environment that breaks from industry norms, provides exposure to a-typical or career paths, engenders knowledge sharing among different generations, and presents customized development opportunities for employees.

Managing Change Orders-Women Share Best Practices
Facilitator: Kelly Mansell, Director of Operations, Mortenson Construction
Large contractor manager will lead discussion on how construction team partners can keep these critical project changes on track, and how to address gender issues if and when they arise in your interractions.

Women in Construction Management
Facilitator: Sandy Hamby, President, MOCA Systems Inc.
Find out about opportunities for careers in the CM arena working for service providers or project owners. Learn how skillsets in communications, qualitative and quantitative thinking, decision-making, research and analytics are valuable. We will discuss how to get started and how to advance.

30 Seconds or Bust! First Impressions Count
Facilitator: Ryan Krishnan, Senior Recruiter, Construction & Real Estate Group, DHG Search
In this discussion we’ll look at what makes your resume worth more than 30 seconds of consideration, as well as how to evaluate a candidate’s resume in under 30 seconds.

Allies, Buddies and Cronies — The ABCs of Advocating for Others
Facilitator: Kelly Bluhm, Regional Managing Director, AON
Learn the ‘ABCs’ of becoming a powerful ally for diversity and an advocate for an inclusive workplace that make a difference in your worklife and your colleagues’. Learn how to take control of your environment without a corporate mandate or training sessions. We will share what drives innovative thinking and how to build up others’ confidence.

Steel Toe Stories: Design-Build Project Success
Facilitator: Lisa Washington, Executive Director-CEO, Design-Build Institute of America
Led by an industry design-build expert, women will discuss challenges and opportunities in managing projects using this innovative and collaborative approach, with tips on everything from marketing and design to working on construction sites with diverse teams.

Wellness Programs as a Talent Lure—How to Start One
Facilitator: Myra Ebarb, Director of People and Perks, Sachse Construction and Broder & Sachse Real Estate.
Candidates today seek employers that offer more wholistic benefits, with a focus on overall wellbeing. Learn how AEC firms, even smaller ones, can compete with tech giants on successful wellness initiatives that are scalable across locations and to jobsites, and offer a significant ROI by attracting top talent and increasing retention.

Winning Strategies for Women of Color in AEC Careers
Facilitator: Jumoke Akin-Taylor, Project Manager, City and County of San Francisco
This 30-year public and private sector management veteran will share insights of her career challenges and how to stay focused and committed to push for inclusion. “I found my balance in the industry, and I’m loving every moment,” she says. Be inspired by her personal journey and join the discussion.

Developing Women Finance Leaders
Facilitator: Amy Williams, Senior Manager-Construction Finance, WeWork
Join this discussion on skills and experience women need in the construction sector to develop impactful financial career tracks as projects and corporate finance issues grow for companies, team members and clients.

How Project Managers Become Business Managers
Facilitator: Sue Weller-Doke, Senior Construction Consultant, D Brown Management
Good project managers understand what drives project completion—from subcontractors and equipment to changed conditions and punch list. A veteran manager shares why a broader business vision matters to your project and how it affects financial success and your company’s bottom line.

Women in Field Leadership
Facilitator: Silvia Casillas, Superintendent, The Whiting-Turner Contracting Co.
Share experiences and learn how to handle whatever comes your way in being a woman leader in the field. What makes team leading on the jobsite different for women than for men?

Empowering Girls to Build Futures in Construction
Facilitator: Amber Wilson, Co-Founder, Fluor Corp. Movers and Makers
Learn about this successful afterschool outreach effort run by Fluor employees that guides 4th and 5th grade girls to build skills and social experience to become world-changing construction problem solvers, and how interactions benefit both students and instructors.

The Hidden Opportunity: Creating Change in Your Organization
Facilitator: Danielle Edberg, Senior Manager, Industry Advancement, Procore Technologies Inc.
We will learn how to actively lead culture change and create an environment where new employees can thrive. Hear from individuals who have created initiatives and employee resource groups in their organizations from the bottom up and how to impact peers and leadership mindsets.

How Technology Can Help Advance Women in Construction
Facilitator: Allison Scott, Head of Construction Integrated Marketing, Autodesk
Join this interactive session to explore the role of technology providers in advocating for industry women.

Navigating Success—in and out of the field
Facilitator: Anne Timmermans, Senior Consultant/Construction Manager, Parametrix
This discussion will take inspiration from female superheroes to talk about strong woman leaders, how they can continue to advance and how they can encourage the next generation.

How to Succeed in Pre-Apprenticeship
Facilitator: Carrie Steele, Executive Board, Ironworkers’ Union, Local 358, Oakland, Calif

Women in Specialty Contracting
Facilitator: Heather Bennett, Project Manager/Engineer, ACCO Engineered Systems
Women working in construction specialty fields and as subcontractors will discuss how career paths differ. What challenges and opportunities can be found working for subcontractors? How do these challenges vary depending on trade, role, or time in the field?

1:45 pm – 2:40 pm
Grand Ballroom and Pacific Concourse

Breakout Sessions (55 minutes)



Advancing Women in Construction Law
Businesses and law firms have been searching for the Rosetta Stone that unlocks the secret to advancing women lawyers, but only one conclusion is clear–there is none. Experts suggest a focus on organization culture and its impact on careers. This panel of women attorneys whose careers have taken differing paths will offer insights on the meaning and importance of "culture.”

Co-Moderators: Alexandra Busch, Senior Associate, and Mindy Gentile, Partner and Diversity & Inclusion Chair, Peckar & Abramson

Tracy Russell-Galimore, Counsel, Major Capital Projects, Chevron Corporation
Leslie O'Neal, Associate General Counsel, Brasfield & Gorrie
Sandra Roche, Vice President and General Counsel at Roche Constructors, Inc.



Why LGBTQ+ Issues Matter to Your Firm

To develop new talent and replace an aging workforce, the construction industry has made strides to diversify. Has that same spirit extended to the LGBTQ+ community? This panel will discuss how lingering issues of discrimination impact industry bottom lines, and what efforts some employers have taken to update company policies, actively recruit and retain LGBTQ+ employees, combat bias and foster change within the broader industry.

Moderator: Scott Blair, ENR Managing Editor

Melody Ablola, Associate, Arup
Elena Anaya, Community & Citizenship Director, Northern California, Turner Construction Company
Monique Cardenas, Associate General Counsel, Suffolk
Mykka Ellis, Third Year Apprentice, Ironworkers’ union, Local 86, Seattle



Learn the Key Steps to Advance Your Career

A former design firm president, now a leadership coach and HR expert, offers insight and direction on the four key factors that should drive your efforts to compete for and win those top leadership spots. Don’t miss this learning and sharing session!


Ted Lower, Co-founder and CEO, LVNV Group



Women in the Workplace Research: Diversity as a Business Imperative

Hear an update on new research from McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.org. on how the construction industry is performing compared to other business sectors in gender parity at all professional and executive levels, impacts on business and decisive actions employers can take.


Shannon Peloquin, Partner, McKinsey & Co., San Francisco

2:45 pm–3:40 pm
Grand Ballroom and Pacific Concourse

Breakout Sessions



Skilled Trades Pre-Apprenticeship Programs: Promoting Better Lives for Women

Join us for a discussion with four leaders of U.S. workforce development programs dedicated to creating opportunities for women in construction and related trades. Through these programs, and others, women now enter skilled trades apprenticeships ready for work, without feeling intimidated and with confidence and capability that shines through every project. Attendees will be inspired by a number of success stories and learn how to launch similar training programs.

Moderator: Nani Noverita, NEW graduate and member, Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Union, Local 46, NYC

Kathleen Culhane, President, Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW)
Vicki O'Leary, General Organizer, Ironworkers International
Carol Cool, Co-Founder, Women in Skilled Trades (WIST)
Karen Dove, Executive Director, Apprenticeship & Non-Traditional Employment for Women (ANEW)



Career Path Mapping

Learn about an approach that brings clarity to an otherwise cloaked path of career progression. In this session, you can develop a strategy to create an effective career path map and how to implement it.


Stephane McShane, Director, Maxim Consulting Group



Motivating People in Today’s Pop Culture World

This session addresses how to recruit, engage and motivate staff members when attention is fractured, millennials look for a new job the day they start their current one and women still seek parity. Presenters will discuss what makes a winning culture and how to measure engagement.

Moderator: Nancy Whitworth, CPO, McCownGordon Construction

Taylor Brenner, Project Manager, McCownGordon Construction
Lindsey Broderick, Designer, ZFA Structural Engineers
Jennifer Miles, Superintendent, DPR Construction
Anne Robertson, MS Candidate, Civil Engineering, Univ. of California-Berkeley



Rolling the DICE: Industry’s New AEC Diversity and Inclusion Alliance

Learn more about getting involved in Diversity & Inclusion in Construction & Engineering (DICE), a new advocacy group formed by leading firms to boost industry D&I by sharing best practices and a one-voice approach. What’s the mission and game plan ahead?


Silvia Siqueira, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Hilti North America
Ashley Ruiz, Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations Director, McKinstry
Carol Guerrero, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Americas, Lendlease

3:45 pm - 4:15 pm
Grand Ballroom Foyer
Networking, Refreshments & Exhibits

4:15 pm - 5:15 pm
Grand Ballroom
Panel Discussion
Life in the Owner’s Seat

Project owners have a critical accountability for decisions, creative solutions, priority setting and framing the team environment. More women assuming the role are changing jobsite relationships. Panelists will share paths to their current jobs and offer insights on how others can thrive in this leadership role.

Moderator:Jenny Derry, Project Manager, Brailsford & Dunlavey, Inc.

Brig. Gen. Kim M. Colloton, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Commander, South Pacific Division
Brigett L. Reilly, Director Property Services, University Enterprises, Inc.
Haiying Ellen Yang, Senior Project Manager, Newmark Knight Frank
Nancy Novak, Senior Vice President of Construction, Compass Datacenters

5:15 pm - 6:00 pm
Grand Ballroom

Avery Bang, CEO, Bridges to Prosperity

Hear this dynamic young CEO of the non-profit Bridges to Prosperity share her personal journey of an engineer finding a passion to solve a global problem—rural isolation. Its industry program uilds pedestrian bridges that are critical links, and develops teambuilding and leadership skills for participants. B2P has positively impacted the lives of over 1 million people in 22 countries.

Read More

6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Grand Ballroom Foyer
Reception, Networking & Exhibits

Friday, May 24

7:30 am - 8:20 am
Market Foyer
Grand Ballroom Foyer


Continental Breakfast & Exhibits

8:20 am - 8:25 am
Grand Ballroom
Program Introduction - Second Day

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

8:25 am - 8:30 am
Grand Ballroom
Safety Moment

Victoria Hoyt , PhD, Regional Safety Manager, Granite Construction Co.

8:30 am - 9:30 am
Grand Ballroom
Keynote Q&A

Looking Back—Looking Forward: How Far Have We Come?
Women Pioneers Share Their Stories

Women now in their firms’ C-suites compare and contrast career struggles and work environments from the 1970s and 80s to today in a frank conversation. What has changed? What hasn’t? How do we move ahead? What can the generations learn from each other?


Lorna Cuthbertson Tardif, Partner, HKA Canada
Rebecca Llewellyn, President, Payco Specialties
Tracy Young, CEO and Co-founder, PlanGrid, an Autodesk Company

9:30 am - 10:30 am
Grand Ballroom
Panel Discussion:

#Me-Too 2.0—Moving Past Harassment

ENR’s groundbreaking research on construction industry sex harassment and gender bias will be reviewed with insights and strategies from experts as well in how to confront and prevent jobsite and office issues. How are progressive employers taking steps that are beyond just compliance and reflect true culture change?


Maja Rosenquist, Senior Vice President, Mortenson Construction


Monica Ballard, President, Parallax Education
Marsha Maytum, Founder and Principal, Leddy, Maytum Stacy Architects
Diana Plue, Senior Associate, Sheats & Baily

10:30 am - 11:20 am
Grand Ballroom
Closing Keynote:

Breaking the Mold, How to Succeed When You Don't Fit In

This engineer-entrepreneur was stuck in a corporate job and bumping into non-technical barriers wherever she turned. What she did next will educate and inspire, founding two R&D firms to develop innovative management systems for complex capital projects. Olfa will share her strategy of what empowers women to create the careers they want—out of thin air—and to gain a seat at the table now, not in 20 years!

Olfa Hamdi, Founder, Concord Project Technologies and the non-profit Advanced Work Packaging Institute

11:20am - 11:30 am
Grand Ballroom
Closing Remarks

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


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