Celebrating Women In Construction – A Q&A with MOCA’s Katie Sepulveda
MOCA Contracts Manager Katie Sepulveda shares her insights as a 20-year leader and woman in construction.
As we continue to celebrate Women in Construction Week, we are pleased to present an interview with Katie Sepulveda, Contracts Manager for MOCA Services. Katie is a project management professional with more than 20 years of experience working with general contractors, owners, corporations, and the military. She shares her experience within the industry and provides some suggestions for rising women leaders in construction.
This year’s theme is Envision Equity, to raise awareness of opportunities for women to enjoy a wide range of roles in the construction industry. What can the industry do to make those opportunities more accessible?
If there were a culture of visibility and inclusion, it would provide more participation and interest in opportunities. The challenge is that most office cultures are not as transparent about available opportunities.
Do you think that training and development opportunities for women in construction are easily accessible? What changes would you like to see?
Not as a whole, I think that it is more company-specific. The challenge is without a straightforward procedure in place within any company and a budget specifically assigned to training and development; then it is challenging to identify development opportunities and personnel who would be interested in those opportunities.
What are three things that you do to foster collaboration on a job site?
I manage collaboration by team building. When the entire team is included in the project’s goal and has a voice in how to accomplish that goal, it fosters that collaboration needed to be successful. I also make it a point to hold monthly updates and recognition of team members who have contributed to the effort.
What are the top three things you would tell others about your experience of being a woman in Construction?
It has been a difficult but fantastic journey. I have been blessed to see the industry grow and continue to improve the overall feel of inclusion for women.
As a project leader, what do you do to minimize project risk or errors from happening on-site?
To manage risk, the risks need to be identified, managed and updated. Being proactive and including the experience of all the team members, risks from all phases of the project are typically identified.
What are some suggestions you would give to emerging women project leaders (Supers, PMs PE’s) to be successful in their careers?
My advice is to be humble. Change takes place over time, and being positive and proactive will go a long way.