“Don’t be afraid to follow your passion”: Advice for women from the Skanska Women’s Network


The Skanska Women’s Network kicking off in California

At Skanska, we’re proud of our many female leaders across the U.S. To celebrate the launch of the California chapter of our growing Skanska Women’s Network – with chapters in New York and as of this week the Midwest too – we brought together two panels of Skanska women to share their thoughts on leadership and success. From leading with confidence to maintaining a work-life balance, here is some of their advice:

Tess da Silva, project executive: “Be prepared to highlight your great accomplishments and not your failures. Find your passion and don’t be afraid to follow it.”

Karen Dorsey, project manager: “Go outside your comfort zone. Be brave enough to make a mistake and learn from it. I look for genuine and credible people to follow, and I want people to see myself as that sort of leader too.”

Jeanne Gambill, senior project manager: “When you’re at home you need to be 100 percent present. Use home as your retreat –- it will make you more efficient at work.”

Beth Heider, chief sustainability officer: “Throw out the feeling – shared by a remarkable number of highly accomplished women – that you are a fraud and don’t deserve a leadership position. Cultivate confidence in yourself.”

Julie Hyson, business development director: “Don’t apologize for taking time out for yourself or your family.”

Courtney Lorenz, environmental management director: “It’s important for leaders to say, ‘I don’t know – but I’ll find out.’”

Jennifer McMullen, vice president – environment, health and safety: “Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. In fact, make one every day and learn from it.”

Do you have advice for women in construction? Share your comments below or tweet your ideas to us: @SkanskaUSA.


Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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