Women In Construction

From the Office to the Field: W.L. French Celebrates Six Women

Submitted by W. L. French

W. L. French is proud to be guided by two women in ownership positions. Across the company, women comprise key roles in all operations of the business from a director of finance to safety, estimating, operating, laborers, and transportation. We are pleased to highlight six women who are vital to the firm’s success.

Amy Dolce’s role in the safety department includes conducting weekly site field inspections, handling all insurance claims, incident reporting, and maintaining records and certifications of all employee trainings to ensure compliance. She oversees subcontractor prequalifications, and helps to create and maintain safety content for the firm’s weekly safety tips, safety newsletter, website, and social media. Her tips for women looking to go into the construction industry are: “Believe in the process and take the chance, even if it is outside of your comfort zone. Be confident. Always speak up and ask questions; you will be surprised how many people want to impart their knowledge and experience to you.”

Kelli Duchesne, project accountant, works closely with project management in both the excavating and soil environmental management divisions preparing all project invoices and billing. The role requires critical thinking and strong communication skills. She says, “Construction is a team oriented industry. Everyone is needed in all aspects of the business. Being on a team with a common goal and purpose brings value to my position.”

Senior Analyst Kelly Landry’s responsibilities include research and analysis of project and company costs as well as the preparation of reporting to ownership to ensure all costs are allocated accurately for each monthly close. Her advice for women looking to go into the construction industry is to “have confidence in yourself and believe in the value you bring to the table. Empower one another and that will build strong individuals and a strong team.”

As a senior accountant, part of Merari Pellot’s role includes performing monthly balance sheets, income statement analysis and the preparation of financial statements for ownership. For women interested in construction, she says, “Having self confidence matters and by having this we can create opportunities for not just ourselves but others too. Additionally, this is a dynamic industry that is constantly evolving – there are more woman in leadership roles and we have the ability and responsibility to show other woman this is a great industry with great growth potential.”

As a transportation coordinator, Michelle Shutt handles the day-to-day reporting for the company’s drivers, maintains their licenses and ensures all certifications are up to date. She oversees the onboarding for all hired subcontracted truckers and manages new equipment purchases. Michelle is also working with the team to develop a mobile app to automate their processes, a collaboration she says she is proud to be a part of. Her advice for women interested in construction is to “take the leap because you can learn and grow each day in whatever facet of the industry you chose. Construction is fast-paced and ever-changing so remember, having the ability to make key game time decisions with confidence, that is key.”

As accounting coordinator, Sara Perry processes invoices for the firm’s aggregate materials and disposal facilities, and does the billings for over 100 hired truckers. She works closely with the company’s environmental project managers and clients to ensure the accuracy and timeliness on the billing cycle of transportation projects. For women looking to go into the construction industry, she says, “Just go for it! Do not be intimidated. There will always be someone to offer knowledge and help. Construction is the field operations, laborers, and operators, but also includes finance, project management, engineers, safety personnel, and HR. There are plenty of areas for women to find their niche and grow!”