Kahua is highlighting some of our customers, partners and employees for Women in Construction Week 2022. Today, we talk to Monica Rizzo, who is a Project Administration Manager with BPGS in Wilmington, Delaware.
Please share your education and work history.
My career in construction started back in 2000 when I was hired by Gilbane Building Company as an administrative assistant. Back then, the current company I worked for, The Buccini/Pollin Group, didn’t have a construction division so it hired Gilbane as the construction management company for its building renovations. I worked at Gilbane for five years learning as much as I could before I did a short stint at a local construction management company where I really started to get involved with construction software. In 2006, I made it official with The Buccini/Pollin Group and joined its construction division, BPGS Construction LLC. Joining BPGS was one of the best decisions I have ever made!
What was the thing that sparked your interest in construction?
When I first started in the construction industry, I don’t think I really understood what it would be like. I just thought it would be a job. But once I got here, I was completely amazed by the process. The life of a project is such an interesting thing to be a part of, from design, buy out, construction, closeout and turnover. There are so many different moving parts that need to be wrangled in and coordinated to have a project come together. Now, I can’t imagine being in any other industry than construction.
Are you seeing more women entering this field? How has that changed since you started in it?
Something I have noticed in the past 20 years is that there are more women, in many different positions, within this field. Almost one-third of the employees at my company are women, with some departments solely run by women. There are also more women-owned businesses in the trades, which is promising and exciting to see.
With the lack of tradespeople, how can we encourage women to consider positions in the construction industry?
I think this needs to start at a high school level. In the past, young women were never the target demographic for vocational schools that focused heavily on the trades. I think there needs to be a conscious effort to make young women aware of the different career paths that are out there within the trades.
How did it feel when you moved into a leadership position for the first time?
My role as Project Administration Manager was a position that was created for me, so needless to say I was excited. I was given an outline of what was expected of the position, but I got to run with it and make it my own.
How are you mentoring or helping other women advance in their construction careers?
I am extremely lucky with the project coordinator team that I work with because we all work so well together. Each one of us has had a unique experience on a project, and we end up collaborating, mentoring and learning from each other. We collectively take on tasks that help advance our roles as a whole within the company.