There are women in construction, but let’s be honest, most of them aren’t in the field. And that’s something Haselden is eager to support changing. Rebecca Wilcox is an assistant superintendent at Haselden – the first woman who’s chosen to take that career path here. We have women project managers, women laborers, and just hired our first woman onto the welding crew (yep, we’ll be doing a blog post on her, too!), but this is our first woman superintendent.

How It All Started

Originally from Texas, Rebecca received her BS in Construction Science from Texas A&M in 2012. During her summers in college, she worked for local contractors, and she did an internship for a large regional contractor where she had the opportunity to work on a University of Texas project located in downtown Austin. Before she even graduated, that company offered her a job which she started right after she got her degree.

Beginning her career as an office engineer (the equivalent to Haselden’s project engineer position), she had the opportunity to work on large projects like Baylor’s McLane Stadium and Baylor Business School. In this position, she handled tasks like reviewing submittals, writing RFIs, and recording and publishing minutes.

A Fork in the Road

In 2014, Rebecca and her husband moved to Nebraska and she began working for a different general contractor.

Rebecca had always wanted to be a superintendent. She likes being in the middle of the action, not behind a desk. She likes the challenges of figuring things out in the field. But experiences at a previous employer made her rethink that decision and she decided to go the project management route.

In October of 2016, her husband started a new job that moved them to Colorado and she was hired at Haselden as an assistant project manager. Her first job with us was on the phenomenal UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital project.

UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital Mid-Construction

Return to True Love

Built in a mere 14 months, Longs Peak finished quickly and it was time to put Rebecca on another project. She requested to transfer to the superintendent track. Watching how Haselden treats our supers, how the project managers ensure their superintendents have everything they need to guarantee both they and the job are successful – that changed her mind about what career path she wanted to pursue.

Being in the field is where Rebecca’s true passion lies. Just ask her about a project, and it’s clearly evident! Whether it’s a project she’s working on now, one she’s worked on in the past, or even just one someone told her about that she thought was interesting, she becomes animated about the logistics and coordination. She loves working with people and problem solving, making sure the project gets built right, while focusing on quality, cost, and schedule. She likes the actual building part of construction.

On Being a Woman in the Field

“My goal isn’t necessarily to be a trailblazer,” said Rebecca. “I just want to be good at my job. I don’t want anyone to be under the impression that I want to be a super just to be the first woman super. I just want to be seen as an assistant superintendent.”

Does she feel like being a woman in her position makes doing her job more difficult? “Honestly, the biggest challenge in my job is just being green. There’s a major transition from the office to the field, and there’s definitely a learning curve – and that’s true whether you’re a woman or a man.” Rebecca can easily put ego aside and has no problem admitting when she doesn’t know something and will ask questions to learn what she needs to know; sometimes that humbleness earns the respect of the guys in the field and sometimes it doesn’t. But she’s okay with it either way because she comes away knowing more.

What the Future Holds

Rebecca’s hard core work ethic (she’s often one of the first on site and one of the last to leave) and progressive nature (she’s always looking for the most efficient and effective ways to get things done) have earned her the respect of the people she works with. Shawn Morrison, senior superintendent at Haselden (he oversees all the projects in the Western Region) called her “hard working . . . smart . . . dedicated . . . fearless.”

“hardworking . . . smart . . . dedicated . . . fearless”

Right now Rebecca is one of two assistant supers on our W Aspen project and is in charge of shotcrete, concrete, waterproofing, and MEP underground. Her responsibilities will shift as the project moves forward.

What are her future career plans? She loves her job and is staying on the superintendent track. “I’m gonna bust my butt until I make it,” she says. We think she already has.