Toni Phillips, CMC, LEED Green Associate
Senior Project Engineer / Assistant Project Manager
KBE Building Corporation

With more than 20 years of experience in the construction industry, Toni Phillips, CMC, LEED Green Associate brings her skill as a strategic thinker with strong attention to detail to the construction and delivery of a variety of project types.

Phillips

Toni started with KBE 16 years ago as a Project Engineer. She is a graduate of Tufts University, where she received her B.S. in Civil Engineering. Toni also has received her Construction Management Certification and is a LEED Green Associate.

Over the course of her career, Toni has contributed to a lot of successful projects that were publicly funded in the state of Connecticut, her most recent project being the new Platt Technical High School in Milford, CT. A cornerstone of Toni’s approach throughout her career as a Senior Project Engineer / Assistant Project Manager is how cognizant she is with documenting and organizing the project.

Question: What led you to a career in the construction industry?

Two things led me to a career in construction. First, my father was a technical high school carpentry teacher and he built people’s kitchen cabinetry on the side. Both his vocation and avocation piqued my interest. He and my mother had also built our weekend cottage in New Hampshire the year I was born. Building and construction were always around me, a big part of my formative years. Secondly, I loved mathematics and thought a college major in civil engineering would combine building and math.

Question: How has the context of being a woman in the industry changed since you started your career?

Thankfully, women are less of an anomaly in construction than they were years ago, though it is still a mostly male field. Yet, the fact is that some of the best in the industry are women, be they tradespeople, in administration, or in management.

How do you leverage your position to help recruit and retain more women in the industry?

When I am focused on doing the best daily work I can, I probably don’t do enough to bring more women into the industry. I’d like to do more and will make this a goal. Recently, however, I worked on a technical high school construction project and there I did encourage some of the young women to make the most of the education and opportunities they have in front of them.

What improvements can the industry make to help women succeed in the AEC industry?

Not only for women, but for men also, the industry must keep in mind that a work/life balance is not a luxury but a requirement. We all do our best when we’ve spent sufficient time on home needs and can therefore focus the workday on our work needs. In addition, there need to be more women promoted into managerial roles. The industry is getting to where it should be, but more managerial women would be in keeping with the number of women in society and would be for the betterment of all.

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