PMA People

Q&A with our People

Shannon Katt

, Phoenix

What challenges exist for women in the construction and engineering industry? Any path you’ve taken to overcome these?

The construction industry has changed significantly since I first started on jobsites. The construction arena used to be a very tough place to work. There were constant challenges from men to a woman’s knowledge and authority, both in the field and in the trailer. To overcome these challenges, you had to do your job well and know everything there was to know about your work. You also had to have very thick skin and be able to ignore a lot of negativity and misogyny. That posture doesn’t happen much anymore. Enough women have joined the industry, such that we aren’t an anomaly, and we aren’t assumed to be unqualified.

What current projects are you working on?

A claim for the Toronto Transit Commission, scheduling support for a Brewery in Mexicali, Mexico, scheduling support for a hospital in New York, helping a contractor with some change order issues in Edmonton, a schedule risk analysis in an undisclosed location in Asia, and a schedule risk analysis for a mega-project in Texas.

What is your career highlight so far? (at PMA?)

There’s not really a single highlight. I’m very lucky to get to travel all over the world doing scheduling and schedule risk analysis work in the oil and gas industry. It’s challenging work in interesting locations.

What are the most positive aspects of working at PMA? Or Share your impressions of PMA’s culture.

I enjoy working with the level of autonomy that PMA allows. There is an expectation that I’ll do my job, and do it well, but there is not a feeling of being monitored for how I make it happen. That provides opportunity to improve things rather than just plodding along with how they’ve always been done. There is opportunity to try new roles if you want to, but not an expectation that you must take every assignment offered. The result is that you have agency in your own career development.

What is something new or innovative happening in your industry?

We are seeing more use of NetPoint from our clients, which is fun to see since I’ve been part of the testing team since the very beginning of the software.

What university or college did you graduate from?

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona. My degree is in Aeronautical Engineering.

What is your favorite local establishment/feature (restaurant, museum, stadium, etc.)?

The Wrigley Mansion. The mansion was built by the Wrigley family (think chewing gum). It’s a historic landmark in Phoenix with a really interesting history. After ownership passed from the Wrigley family, the mansion went through a series of owners and bankruptcies and was finally saved by Geordie Hormel (think canned foods). He remembered spending time there as a child and couldn’t allow the mansion to be demolished. His family wanted local residents to be able to enjoy it, so it’s been turned into a club that includes a bar and restaurant. The mansion has the best view of Phoenix in the city.

Provide a Fun Fact?

I’m on the board of a local charity called SniffAZ that raises money to fund spay/neuter services to low income residents. Did you know that every two s/n surgeries saves one animal from the euthanasia list (at least in Phoenix)?