Oregon Tradeswomen Grads on a Path to Leadership with Skanska

This past summer, Skanska USA Building and Oregon Tradeswomen partnered to recruit candidates for local, career-path field engineer positions. Skanska, one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., created the position to develop an entry-level path to leadership and management.

Field engineers support project engineers, superintendents and project managers. They hold key roles in ensuring the safe execution of activities, which include supervising day-to-day field teams, co-creating site logistics plans, conducting quality inspections, coordinating site testing and inspections, and managing schedules.

Oregon Tradeswomen helped the Skanska team identify local woman who possessed the skill-set sought for the new position.

Oregon Tradeswomen recently talked with Katie Coulson, LEED AP, Vice President – Account Manager with Skanska USA Building Inc. and former member of Oregon Tradeswomen’s Board of Directors, to learn a little more about this new leadership-track position. The fact that these new positions are being created to help manage one of Skanska’s most complex construction projects demonstrates its commitment to growing talent and making opportunities available for advancement. Of the handful of workers hired as the first field engineers, two are Oregon Tradeswomen graduates. Congratulations to Sara Moore and Doc Kenney!

In talking with Katie, we learned that Skanska is exploring ways to move more women into leadership roles. The new field engineer role provides an opportunity to work closely with field superintendents and grow into leadership roles. The leadership pipeline is critical for Skanska and provides a pathway there.

Skanska has a long commitment to hiring diverse workers. Katie explained, “It is this structure that helps make it a great company for women to work and grow in their careers. There are numerous women working on this project in leadership positions such as a general foreman, superintendent, project manager, director of safety, and many women on work crews.”

Katie further explained the growth path for this position. “This is an important and timely training ground to understand various aspects of construction from an individual contributor to a leadership role. The field engineer position will manage and prioritize safe working conditions, and will have key responsibilities working with crews, project managers, schedules, as well as getting trained on all of the aspects to move into a superintendent role.”

We didn’t want to fish for compliments, but we were curious about any standout qualities the newly hired Oregon Tradeswomen graduates, Sara Moore and Doc Kenney, exhibited. We learned that being driven, along with their problem-solving skills are important qualities for leadership. Skanska’s hiring team also values their understanding that even though the challenges that arise can be difficult, it is equally exciting to work through those issues to deliver a great product.  Above and beyond those qualities, having good communication skills to work with multiple people is a key part of the position.

The opportunities in construction and other skilled trades might be better now than at any time in past. As society changes, more opportunities for women and minorities are opening, and construction is an incredible and dynamic industry with many paths for jobs with growth opportunities and benefits. This diversity is a benefit to the entire workforce, and success breeds success.

We applaud Skanska for their commitment to providing growth and leadership opportunities to women and racially diverse workers, and are incredibly excited for Oregon Tradeswomen graduates, Sara and Doc, on this exciting and well-deserved achievement.

About Skanska USA:

Skanska USA’s local operations comprise the Oregon and Southwest Washington regions, and in 2017 had gross revenues of $907 million. The 2017 combined Oregon and Washington gross revenues totaled $1.41 billion.

It is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, education, sports, data centers, government, aviation, life sciences and commercial.  Headquartered in New York with offices in 31 metro areas, we have nearly 11,000 employees committed to being leaders in safety, project execution, sustainability, ethics and people development. In 2017, our work in building construction, civil and power/industrial construction, commercial development and infrastructure development (public-private partnerships) generated $7.3 billion in revenue.  Global revenue of parent company Skanska AB, headquartered in Stockholm and listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, totaled $18.8 billion in 2017. Skanska shares are publicly traded in the U.S. on the OTC market under the symbol SKBSY through a Level I American Depository Receipt program. 

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