Women in Construction - Transcending Transformational Leadership
Mortenson WIC poster

Inspired by a study published in Harvard Business Review on how women CEOs lead, our Federal Contracting team reflected on how to rise above and beyond as leaders in our industry. Through the strength of shared values, transformational leaders inspire others to change expectations, perceptions, and motivations to work toward a common vision. Below are three key traits we believe anyone can adopt to have a successful career in construction.

1. Own your ambition.

The critical factor in a leader's journey is taking ownership of their own ambition by first seeing themselves as a leader. Women CEOs in the Harvard Business Review study described how self-acceptance unlocked their ability to act on their leadership potential.

"Know your value; know your worth. Women were designed to lead. Speak up and own your success! Only we can impede our own progress. If we are not growing, we are shrinking."
- Melinda Jones, Administrative Assistant & Security Specialist

2. Don't wait to be asked.
Women leaders describe seeking out stretch assignments, learning on the job, and learning from the people in their networks to master not just being comfortable in risk-taking, but to actively enjoy it.

"We are very fortunate to work for a company that is focused on leadership and career development for all team members. However, you can’t always depend on others to assign stretch assignments to you. Having confidence in yourself and the ability to ask for challenges demonstrates confidence, motivation, and the ability to adapt. Learn to be comfortable with uncertainty – it will only help you grow and develop as a person and in your career."
– Kayla Pingel, Project Engineer

3. Embrace a well-rounded leadership style.
The study published in Harvard Business Review uncovered a strong transformational leadership theme in how women lead others, which offers a lesson to all. The theme is that successful women leaders self-developed communicative leadership skills and behaviors, such as seeing the big picture, developing vision, and honing other strategic capabilities.

"I find my leadership style is centered on alignment with a shared vision. Along my leadership journey, I believe team spirit and team function sync with the same unified goal in mind, through good times and challenging times. This starts with myself and my communication style of using "we" in discussing tasks and goals to align all team members to share success and obstacles together."
- Laura Wake-Ramos, Assistant Project Manager