Women In Construction Week – 2021

We have been lucky to work with Chelsea Dekis for the last 6 years of our 7-year relationship with Shake Shack. She is a smart and strong construction leader and a valuable partner for all our projects with Shake Shack. Learn more about how Chelsea sets the bar high not only for CM&B but for herself.

Name a memorable piece of advice you received that
impacted your career in a positive way?

A Project Manager is like a circus performer spinning a bunch of plates. You must keep everything moving otherwise everything falls apart. This industry is not linear.

When did you know Construction was right for you?  And what advice would you give young women looking at a career in construction?

I studied Historic Preservation and Art History and was unsure what I wanted to do when I graduated. My first job out of college was working with architects as a sales rep. I quickly discovered the excitement I felt being in the field. I loved talking to the trades on job sites, seeing the physical representation of hard work, and establishing great relationships.

For women starting a career in construction: don’t be intimidated. Educate yourself to build confidence, be open to learning, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Own your mistakes and learn from them.

To date what has been your most challenging project or situation in your construction role?

The biggest challenge in my career has been having confidence in myself and pushing myself outside of my comfort zone. The quickest way I have found to grow in this area is to embrace situations that make you feel uncomfortable, nervous, scared because that is the only way that you grow.

What do you find the biggest challenge with being a woman in construction?

Being a woman in the construction industry is an opportunity. In my early days as an Assistant Superintendent, I was really intimated as the only woman on the job site. I was fortunate that people went out of their way to help me to learn. I quickly developed amazing relationships with my team and with my subcontractors and found that with enough research and newly gained knowledge, I earned the respect I deserved.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would you choose?

My dog Kyna – she embodies joy. She’s always happy, is always ready to go for a hike or a run, but is also content to lay at my feet while I work. She doesn’t have a care in the world.

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