March 06, 2019
WIC Week 2019: Kendra Fecho
NAME: KENDRA FECHO
CURRENT ROLE: PROJECT MANAGER
CURRENT LOCATION: DETROIT CORE TEAM
YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 3 SUMMER INTERNSHIPS, 12 YEARS FULL-TIME
What led you to a career in the construction industry?
During High School I was excelling in science and math which lead me to pursue a degree in engineering which in turn lead me to an internship with Barton Malow Company. I can't say that I immediately knew that this industry would be my passion but my internships allowed me that brief 3 month look into a world where every day at work would be unique, challenges are experienced but the combined team always overcame them and that you can come to work each day and have FUN.
A unique factor of my first internship was that my jobsite was run by a female project manager and that my peer-support was a woman who at the time was a project engineer then in later years grew into a project superintendent. Those additional aspects helped solidify that this industry would be a great fit for me.
What are some of the biggest challenges of being a woman working in construction?
Whether it has been due to the market sector of projects I've worked in or my confident personality, I can gladly say that my gender has not led to any challenges in this industry. I joined the industry in 2003, and though the gender ratio might be heavily skewed toward men, women have been in this industry long enough to make their presence felt. If you are confident and stand behind your work, you will earn and keep the respect you deserve.
What do you love most about your career?
As a quick background story, at the age of 9 months my life was touched by Mother Teresa. I live my life by one of her mottos: "Do small things with great LOVE." Throughout my career I've been focused on education projects at all levels, from K-12 to Community College. In the BIG picture of the construction industry, the size of the projects in those sectors of our business may be small, but we've always built them with great love.
I love that I can come to work each day and truly live out what it means to do small things with great love.
What advice would you give a woman starting out in the industry?
Be open to learning from others – get out of the office and onto the jobsite where you can engage and learn directly from the contractors in the field. They're the ones that can provide some of the best knowledge and problem solving skills. Bring your ideas to the table and be confident in the manner in which you deliver your knowledge and information. And lastly, find a good mentor that can listen to you and advocate for you!