Business

Meet STACK’s 2022 Powerful Women in Preconstruction

Cultural shifts are happening that make construction more appealing to women. Preconstruction is one of the places women are finding a second career path. Meet four STACK Construction Technologies female customers as they tell us how they got into the industry, must-haves in preconstruction and messages to the next female generation.
March 10, 2022
Topics
Business

It’s Women in Construction Week, and STACK Construction Technologies is celebrating by featuring some of our most powerful female customers in preconstruction.

Construction can be a notoriously tough industry for women, who face obstacles, such as exclusion, gender bias, pay gap and lack of advancement. The good news is cultural shifts are happening and many women are finding a career path in preconstruction. Meet some of the brilliant female STACK Construction Technologies customers below and learn how they got into the industry, their must-haves in preconstruction and their messages to the next female generation.

Kelli Baker

Financial Systems Analyst and Procurement
Metropolitan Services Group

Must-have in Kelli’s preconstruction toolbox: “I like working in STACK’s reporting function. I have an accounting background, so I like working in Excel and uploading those accounting codes into STACK.”

"Don't be afraid to getting into the construction industry. Don't be intimidated by it. There is room to grow like I'm growing."

Kelli Baker

Since starting at Metropolitan Services Group, Kelli has overseen getting everything developed in STACK, setting up the accounts, doing data entry for residential and commercial sides of the business and doing takeoffs. “I am learning a lot about every trade while doing takeoffs. Metropolitan was missing pieces in other takeoff software, so they invested in STACK. It’s more accurate.”

After training another employee to use STACK, he is now completing a takeoff in two hours on an entire house that would originally take days or weeks (depending on the size of a project). “Yesterday, he did three homes in one day.”

Kelli believes women bring unique skills to the construction industry. “Women are highly organized and meticulous ... which I think is complementary and adds some refinement to our business. We can map things out and set up a structure.”

Kelli’s words of wisdom to the younger female generation? “Don’t be afraid of getting into it. There is room to grow like I’m growing. There’s a lot to construction; it’s not the same thing every day.”

Cheryl Benkert

Estimator and Program Analysis
TNT Industries

Must-have in Cheryl’s preconstruction toolbox: “Fast internet, new computers and having a program that runs as well as STACK does is critical.”

“I really like working in the details, building in the items, creating assemblies, building formulas that save everybody else time.”

 Cheryl Benkert

Cheryl started at TNT building out items and assemblies in STACK. Since she transitioned the company to using STACK, her company’s estimating team has become the most efficient department in the business. The sales team is also benefiting from STACK, using the materials list that STACK outputs.

She loves preconstruction’s back end, getting in and figuring out the formulas in STACK. “I can do the takeoffs, but I really like working in the details, building in the items, creating assemblies, building formulas that save everybody else time.”

Cheryl thinks women add a unique perspective to the construction industry. “Women think differently, sometimes more outside the box and less linear. We may see solutions not readily visible. Not better, not worse, it’s different and rounds out everything else.”

Cheryl’s words of wisdom to the younger female generation? “There are so many possibilities and options. It’s not just sitting behind a desk. I get to use my brain, talk with my team, create something new. It’s been hugely empowering. Just remember, do what lights you up."

Allie Gaworecki

Three Sons Home Improvements

Must-have in Allie's preconstruction toolbox: “We don’t survive without QuickBooks and Excel, but I’m trying to make Excel go away, because STACK will do what we need to do.”

Everything I did was becoming more accurate, and because of that and how beautiful STACK is made, we got so busy that I had to hire two more takeoff operators because I didn’t have time.”

Allie Gaworecki

As a mom, Allie brings a lot of how she manages her household into her work and managing projects. “Women in general are organized and think things through differently. We bring a completely different set of eyes to projects.”

What does she love about preconstruction? Nothing is ever the same. “Every project, every house, every addition is always different. There’s a new problem to solve, or new details to read; one is easy or the next one is incredibly difficult. I love that there is no monotony.”

Allie was the one responsible for bringing STACK to Three Sons. The company was using Vu360 prior to STACK but, when Allie took over, she said she couldn’t do any work that way. STACK made her much faster, more organized and she found it easy to work through a revision or a change order. “While I was estimating, the reporting came out better. So, everything I did was becoming more accurate, and because of that and how beautiful STACK is made, we got so busy that I had to hire two more takeoff operators because I didn’t have time.”

Allie’s words of wisdom to the younger female generation? “Don’t be afraid to get into it. If it’s interesting to you and you like the different obstacles that happen every day, it doesn’t matter what anyone might think. Whether you’re in the field or in the office.”

Kim Scott

Lead Project Estimator
SealGuard

Must-have in Kim’s preconstruction toolbox: “Good plans, which in turn makes for good takeoffs and good bidding. Having STACK’s layers feature is super important, making markups invisible when sharing drawings with my crews.”

“I love STACK, it is so user-friendly, it’s incredible. I was impressed with the options and how easy it was to navigate the program.”

Kim Scott

Kim loves digging into the details of preconstruction and understanding the scope of the project. When she started learning STACK for her job, she was thrilled. “I love STACK, it is so user-friendly, it’s incredible. I was impressed with the options and how easy it was to navigate the program. The bid template is a great resource, so there is no rework.” Kim also signed up for SmartUse and is super excited with two trainings down.

Kim is excited about the skills women bring to the industry. “Women are very detailed and bring a lot of value. One word can change everything, especially when it comes to pricing and what you are responsible for at the job, so detail is important.”

Kim’s words of wisdom to the younger female generation? “There are so many opportunities in construction for women. It is very flexible, with so much learning potential and room for growth. I started on the billing side and now I am lead project estimator. It's an incredible field, and there is a need for more women in the industry.”

Read the full-length article here.

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