Women in Multifamily Construction: Building a Career

Melissa Tompkins served as project manager for a 101-story Chicago landmark. Hear about her journey in this month's episode of "Mission Success: Women in Multifamily."

Melissa Tompkins, Project Manager, James McHugh Construction Co. Image courtesy of James McHugh Construction Co.

Melissa Tompkins’ lifelong passion for math and science initially sparked an interest in an engineering career, but her interests led her to a different calling. She studied construction management at Purdue University and embraced a hands-on career. As a project manager at Chicago-based James McHugh Construction Co., she now leads some of the nation’s highest-profile, most challenging projects.


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Women working on the St. Regis project in Chicago. Image courtesy of James McHugh Construction Co.

“I’m proud to be a working woman in the construction industry,” Tompkins told Commercial Property Executive Senior Editor Laura Calugar in the December episode of our Mission Success: Women in Multifamily podcast series.

Most recently, she served as project manager for a new Chicago landmark: St. Regis Residences, Magellan Development Group’s 101-story condo and hotel tower. Tompkins’ team included several other senior woman professionals, an example of women’s rising prominence in the historically male-dominated construction business.

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What you’ll hear about in this episode:

  • What’s it like to work in the construction industry (0:53)
  • Obstacles women in construction face (6:36)
  • Building credibility and increasing authority (8:02)
  • Women at work—the St. Regis project (11:48)
  • Gender diversity on construction sites (17:19)

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