McKinstry’s Rebecca Fitzsimmons on Building Impactful Teams

“Women in Construction Week means visibility. It brings attention to the fact that women are active in all parts and levels of the construction industry and shows others any position is available to you as a woman.”

Rebecca Fitzsimmons is a senior account executive in the Construction Special Projects Group (SPG) and has been with McKinstry since 2013. In addition to her role, Rebecca is a leader of our Building Good community service team in Portland and an active participant in McKinstry’s Gender Equity Alliance. She was also recognized as a 2021 Impact Award Recipient for her work to forward McKinstry’s environmental and social responsibility aspirations. Learn more about Rebecca and how she’s blazing trails across the construction industry and beyond:

Learn More About Rebecca’s Experience

What is your role at McKinstry/ how did you get there?

I’m a senior account executive in Construction Special Projects Group (SPG). My job is to meet with our clients and general contractor partners, walk a job, figure out what needs to happen, price it up and partner with all involved to get the job executed.

I started here almost 11 years ago as a project engineer in the same team. I learned our business, how we execute our projects and how to make good partnerships and as a result, I have continued to build on that base in the role I have today.

What attracted you to work in the construction industry?

I came into this position through a circuitous route. My degree was in architecture, and I had intentions to be an architect. However, after I earned my degree, the economy wasn’t the greatest, so I ended up participating in AmeriCorps for a year and took on roles in some varied construction-adjacent fields. Following this, I applied for a variety of positions at McKinstry and once I got the job, I didn’t look back. Being here just works for me.

I’m able to take the history and experience I have and apply it every day to problem solving in the field. I appreciate the fast pace when working with our field crews and our general contracting partners. I find a lot of joy in getting the job done in partnership with our internal and external coworkers.

What does success look like in your role?

When we complete a project successfully, it makes it easier to sell the next one. So, success for me is having a team that works together — both internally and with our partners — to execute a project that the end user is happy with.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

Finding solutions is the most rewarding part of this work. From coming up with a conceptual plan to developing the proposal to executing the project, you’re constantly faced with addressing challenges. There are so many moving parts in construction, and I thrive in stepping up to the challenge of keeping everything moving forward and working towards the common goal of completing the project. Working with my teammates to face difficult challenges and figure out solutions is what I really love about this job day in and day out. I also enjoy having a tangible thing I helped create as the end work product. We literally get to build the cities we live in; how cool is that!

What does “Women in Construction Week” mean to you?

Women in Construction Week means visibility. It brings attention to the fact that women are active in all parts and levels of the construction industry and shows others any position is available to you as a woman. Additionally, it shows that as an industry, we have room to grow with our workforce diversity.

What do you hope to see for women in the construction industry in the future?

I hope that women will feel just as valued and important in their roles as their male counterparts and that they know whatever positions they want to hold in this industry are open to them.

What change do you hope to inspire through your work at McKinstry?

I want everyone at Mckinstry and beyond to know that if you work together — whether it’s completing a project or packing food — you’re going to grow your bonds and relationships with each other, complete a project and feel proud. I hope to inspire people to be good teammates and work together towards accomplishing shared goals.

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