Women in Construction: Interview with Vicki Peditto

Vicki Peditto has been working in the construction industry since 2004, starting off as a project assistant helping on project sites for a major Pacific Coast commercial construction firm based in Seattle. Although her only previous technical expertise was as a self-taught motorcycle mechanic, she worked her way up and pursued – and achieved – her goal of becoming a project manager just a few years after starting out. She worked as project manager for five years before joining Columbia Pacific Advisors, a national developer, in 2019 as a development manager.
What is one characteristic that you believe every woman in construction should possess?
Having a kick-ass attitude and knowing that you probably know a lot more than most men out there.

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?
Self-doubt is extremely detrimental not only to yourself but to your career. I had been doing the work of a project manager but wasn’t confident enough to think I could be a PM. Once I gained that confidence, I still had to push my boss to give me the opportunity.

What project are you most proud of?
That’s a tough one, but I think the new senior living community in Brookfield, CT is the one I’m most proud of. It’s my first project on the owner side but I brought all my construction experience to it, and we ended up getting it delivered on time.

Why do you like what you do?
I love being part of a team and having the chance to create positive working relationships with everyone on the job. I love the challenge of working together with a team to find the solutions – and obviously seeing a successful result, and knowing that I was part of achieving that.

Do you have a mentor?
My previous boss has long been my mentor; he's someone I’ve looked up and modeled after ever since I started in this industry. I have tried to model the qualities he has demonstrated – being fair, being a team player, but also being willing to push back in the best interests of the project and the team.

What reading would you recommend to other women in the industry?
I don’t do a lot of industry-specific reading. I’d rather be out gardening, doing yard work, camping… and watching cooking shows!

What advice do you have for women coming into this industry?
Just know that this is hard work. It means a lot of hours, a lot of commitment and a lot of stress. You will get to where you want to be if you believe in yourself.  But also be sure to find that work-life balance – it’s critical to your physical and mental health and to your career.

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