Every Path Needs a Plan
In honor of Women in Construction Week, we sat down with Heather Mendez, Vice President of Project controls for MOCA Services, to get her thoughts on what others should do to build their path within the industry.
In honor of Women in Construction Week, we sat down with Heather Mendez, Vice President of Project controls for MOCA Services.
Heather has over 20 years of experience in cost engineering and project management; and has worked with government agencies, including the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Veterans Administration, General Services Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the US Department of Energy.
We asked Heather to provide her thoughts as a leader in the construction industry on what others should do to build their path within the industry.
What do you love most about working in the construction industry?
I love the endless opportunities you find in the construction industry. There is something for everyone in this field, from Engineering, Design, Project Management, Accounting, Building, and more. The possibilities for career movement, continuing education, and leadership are only limited by what you want to achieve.
Who was your biggest influence/inspiration during your career?
I have been fortunate to work with dedicated individuals during my entire career. Early in my career, I looked up to two female small business owners who spent many hours teaching me what they knew and how they acquired their knowledge. Jodie and Candy, you have and continue to develop women in the industry.
What does it take to attain the leadership level that you have reached?
In this order: Self-Awareness. Vision. Goals. Patience. When I stopped trying to fit in and decided to “be my best self and bring my best talents to the team,” my entire career changed. I saw how much I brought to a team and where I needed additional development to create goals.
What can Women Leaders in Construction like yourself do to get more young women interested in working in Construction?
The average person sees construction simply as the worker outside in the hard hat. There is SO MUCH more to construction. Share your experience, journey, and successes with others in and out of the construction industry.
What advice would you give young women who want to be leaders in Construction?
Number one: Advocate for yourself. Tell your boss/team/HR what you want from your career. Be specific with tasks, training, and dates. Take the initiative and accountability to build the career you deserve that fits your work/life balance.
Second: Look for the Builders. Surround yourself with Team Builders, Business Builders, and People Builders. You will encounter adversity, be prepared to pivot to stay on track.