Women In Construction Week – 2021

Meet Sheryl Guglielmo, Senior Project Manager with DiPrete Engineering.  CM&B has had the pleasure of working with Sheryl on several projects including Garden City Center in Cranston, RI, and Millstone Medical in Fall River, MA through site design and construction.  We value Sheryl’s leadership, collaborative approach and strong communication and look forward to many more successful projects together.

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

“If you do not go after what you want, you will never have it. If you do not ask, the answer is always no. If you do not step forward, you are always in the same place.” You are really in control of your own destiny and it is really your job to navigate the waters ahead of you. Some of it is luck but most of it is within your control. Sometimes the decisions we do not make are the ones that are made for us, so regardless of the outcome it is best for us to influence the situation.

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

I am not sure I ever knew that construction was right for me. I was more interested in design and seeing a completed project. It was not until I began working on the revitalization of Garden City Center in 2012 when I realized how fascinating it was to be part of a construction team. The evolution of a project from design to completion is a rollercoaster of emotions that leaves you feeling proud and satisfied at the end. There is so much to learn no matter how many years you have been a part of the process.

The best advice I have for young women looking at a career in construction is to be confident (even if you have to fake it). There is so much to learn – no matter if you are the newbie who gets mistaken for a customer in a construction zone, or the woman with the fresh clean boots, or the woman who’s calling the shots – we all have a place in the construction process and the natural drive, empathy, and organization we have as women really set us apart.

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

The most difficult project I have worked on is a project that was under the jurisdiction of every agency in the state. The project had a public well, septic system, and underground storage tanks for fuel. It also had a high-water table, ledge, nearby wetlands, and was in a drinking water supply watershed. It took over two years to permit. It was definitely a project that took me out of my comfort zone. It is currently under construction.

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

A constant need to prove yourself when you walk into a room or onto a construction site. Overcoming the perception that you are not supposed to be at the table. Speaking up when you are the only woman in the room and having to listen to most people in the industry speak in the male voice (he, him, etc.).

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

Growing up I always wanted to trade places with somebody but the older I get the less I want to be someone else. We often look at others through a lens and forget that they are also human and that each of us has our own flaws or downfalls that we must deal with every day.

If you asked me this 15 years ago, I would have picked a celebrity. Today, I would trade places with my mom or my five-year-old daughter. I would want to feel the pride my mom feels about her three girls and relive her own memories and worries as a mom. I would also like to feel the joys and anxiety that my five-year-old feels. I want to know the things she is feeling so I can modify my parental skills and be a better mom.  

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