Hensel Phelps Celebrates Women in Construction Week

Friday April 26, 2024

Women In Construction (WIC) Week occurs every first week of March and celebrates female professionals in the industry. To celebrate WIC Week this year, Hensel Phelps hosted the second annual Wāhine in Construction Pāʻina. The event took place at the Entrepreneurs Sandbox in Kakaako on March 4. Our Women’s Network (W-Net) hosted the event, motivating attendees to think about professional growth. From engineers to CEOs, over 90 participants networked and engaged in the discussion revolving around the topic, “Elevate Your Career.” 

Hensel Phelps Project Manager Naomi Mercuris facilitated the conversation which covered topics such as mentorship, growth and development and challenges. Each guest speaker shared personal experiences as women in construction and valuable life lessons that led them to their current positions. The Wāhine in Construction Pāʻina panel included four successful female industry professionals: 

  • Allie Ackerman | Operations Manager at Hensel Phelps
  • Dawn Szewczyk | Vice President and Operations Manager at HDR 
  • Melissa Humphrey | Project Manager at Layton Construction 
  • Kapiolani Street | Senior Project Engineer at Castle and Cooke Homes Hawaii 

“Elevating your career in construction starts with taking care of yourself and having a commitment to self-improvement with humility. The construction community is full of people who want to train and mentor others. Seeking connection with this community will make you a better builder and leader, which will ultimately contribute to the success of your project teams and your career overall.”  

– Allie Ackerman

After the panel, the event expressed the importance of paving the way for the leaders of tomorrow. Sacred Hearts Academy students spoke about Girls Got Grit, a mentorship program that cultivates the next female STEM leaders. The program facilitates connections between high school students, professional mentors and companies. Guests eagerly supported this initiative, recognizing the value in talent retention and establishing a pipeline for workforce development in Hawaii.  

To conclude the event, the Wāhine in Construction Pā’ina event left attendees with a unifying message. Together, we’re building more than just structures. We’re building a legacy of inclusion and progress that will shape the industry for generations to come.