Lauren Fruge

Operations Director – Technical Services Pacific Northwest 

Lauren is currently the operations director of technical services for the Pacific Northwest. She oversees operations and delivery out of our Seattle, Portland, Spokane, and Montana offices. While she is new to this role, she has been with McKinstry for 13 years.

At McKinstry, we know that representation and visibility matter — seeing someone who looks like you in every imaginable type of career helps to break down stereotypes and foster inclusion. In a recent Q&A session, Lauren shares what women’s equality means to her and her advice to fellow women in the construction industry.

Learn More About Lauren’s Experience

How did your journey with McKinstry begin?

I started as an intern right out of college. What brought me to McKinstry originally was a professional connection, and the fact that McKinstry was focused on sustainability, as well as the idea that I could spend my whole career at one company as McKinstry has a wonderful company culture.

What does National Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

Women’s equality to me means fostering a culture where people see women as equals and as assets to the business. I believe that I have genuine support in my role but there is still an underlying sentiment more broadly in male-dominated industries that questions if we are promoting women and people of color to make numbers or do we actually feel they can do the job. I have been impressed with the female leaders that I get to interact with at McKinstry and I respect the quality of work, ideas and leadership they bring to the table, and I am honored to be a part of that leadership team.  

 

Do you feel like McKinstry supports your professional aspirations?

I do. I have always felt very supported, especially being a working mom and needing to balance that. There is a lot of space for people to be inspired by something or have an idea and be encouraged to get involved and pursue it. Leaders at McKinstry want to see their employees thinking creatively and taking the road less traveled, making it a great environment for self-starters.  

What are your biggest strengths?

I am good at building strong relationships with people in very diverse capacities within McKinstry, whether it be with technical teammates, managers on the leadership team or with our clients. I believe I am viewed as someone who is trustworthy, reliable, and a participant in processes. I am valued for my ability to connect with technical team members while leveraging communication and soft skills to build stronger relationships with our clients.   

  

What is a piece of advice to women who are entering the construction industry?

One of the best pieces of advice that I received was to be decisive. I would tend look for affirmation from my bosses and team members that I was doing the right things. At McKinstry I was told early on that they would rather have me make the decision and have it be the wrong one than not make the decision at all. If it is the wrong decision, it can be fixed and they have my back, but at the end of the day they trust me, and we want me to take the initiative. My advice would be to take action on making the decision.   

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