With twice the national average of women in construction, the employee-owners at general contractor Hensel Phelps believe they can grow only by challenging each other to think and act differently. Three of the women leading that growth — Sadie Van Noord, Monica Blancas and Irene Morales — are integral to the company’s current 1,250,000-square-foot Richards Boulevard Office Complex project in Sacramento.
Sadie Van Noord is a 17-year industry veteran, with 14 of those years at Hensel Phelps. As a project superintendent, she leads the field team in delivering safe, quality projects on time, focusing on open communication, consistency and establishing expectations for her teams. “Working in construction is challenging and dynamic,” she says. “Each project provides the opportunity for personal and professional growth, and the immediate impact of resolving problems is so satisfying.”
“Having young women identify construction as their passion and making it their career should be, as with any other field, encouraged and embraced.” Shannon Gustine, Hensel Phelps Northern California District Vice President and District Manager
Monica Blancas comes from three generations of construction workers and is approaching a decade in the industry herself, the first female in her family with a career in construction. As a quality control manager, she ensures teams are building to the highest quality while complying with building codes and standards. She says, “I share my late father’s passion for construction and love that I get to train, teach and pass down knowledge and lessons learned throughout the years to younger generations of builders.”
Irene Morales is an area superintendent responsible for refining the project’s schedule with the owner while utilizing lean construction methods to focus on communication. “Seeing our craft/trade partners in action is a joy for me,” she says. “Nothing is more satisfying than seeing our project schedule and plan come alive in the field. The physical building is a representation of everybody’s hard work!” A member of CMAA and SHPE, Morales is grateful for the opportunity to mentor those entering the industry.