“I understand why, at this point, there is a celebration for women in construction and that there is a discussion around gender. I would love to see a day when it really truly is just people in construction. I’m a human being who is here to do a job and contribute to our mission and vision.” – Kacie Mullen, Division Controller

“Learning more about how the operations side of our business functions. When I was working for HB Global accounting it was at such a high level that it wasn’t really necessary for me to understand the details. When I first promoted to Controller at a division I was treated like an admin assistant, not a controller, and if I was curious about something or asked a question, it was immediately dismissed as something I didn’t need to worry about. Now it is much better and I am able to participate in being a true leader for the division. I am able to put all the pieces together and truly understand how the business works from a big picture standpoint. I am starting to understand how my role fits in with the others, not just how to do my day to day tasks. I finally truly feel like I am making a difference instead of just going through the motions.”

“A big challenge is unconscious bias, in business and life in general. Women are treated differently and in a lot of cases, it isn’t noticed or recognized as an issue. There have been many times that I didn’t feel respected in my position, especially being as young as I am. People often assume women are administrative support and are incapable of doing more. Sometimes I struggled to feel like a valued member of my leadership team because it was difficult for people to see me as someone who belongs in this role. As for overcoming this, it has taken me a long time to feel comfortable in my own skin. Sometimes I still don’t, but the only way to change it is to call it out, speak up, and keep proving that we belong here and that we can contribute just as much as the man across the room. Things are getting much better because we are now hiring people who hold to our core values and teaching awareness.”

“It is full of great opportunities, a lot of them being ones that don’t require going into debt to obtain a 4 year degree. A lot of those in my generation were told as kids that college was the path to success and that the only way to become wealthy was to get a degree, find an office job, and move up the corporate ladder. This is just not true and I wish other options were better presented to me at that impressionable age.”

“Stay confident in yourself, your knowledge, and your experiences. Recognize that bias does exist and create space for yourself to speak your opinions and contribute your ideas. Invest in yourself and your growth and fight for what you’re worth. Remember that your ability to do a job has nothing to do with where you are on the gender spectrum. It has to do with effort, work ethic, and willingness to learn.”

“Honestly, it was sort of an accident, as I wanted to be a chemist when I finished high school. When that didn’t work out, I switched to business and had no clue what I wanted in a career. I was in my last semester of college and my friend (Laura Snyder) convinced me to apply to an open position at the company she was an intern for. I didn’t get the job but was brought on as a “talent hire” and worked as receptionist at HB McClure. As a go with the flow type person who needed a better job, I went for it. At the time, the receptionist reported to the accounting manager and that’s how I ended up where I am now.”

“Start by recognizing that male dominated industries are intimidating and that the combination of intentional and unintentional discrimination absolutely deters certain demographics from seeking out jobs in these spaces. Make sure the women you currently employ are being treated fairly and are being paid the same as men in the same role. Provide the same opportunities. Make sure you recognize your privilege and use it to help build others up. Celebrate and share the accomplishments of everyone. Tell people they are valued and prove it to them and they will market your company for you. From day one, make it intentional, for everyone. Don’t put a resume on the trash pile just because of the name on it. Don’t speak differently on the phone or in an email just because the signature or voicemail is a feminine sounding name. Recognize bias in yourself and correct it.”