Women in Construction: Karellis Rivera

Women in Construction: Karellis Rivera
“I have often been one of only a few women in the room throughout my career. I learned early on the importance of listening and learning from everyone around me. But I also quickly learned to push myself to speak up, so I would be seen and heard.
It’s the combination of building a network of advocates at different levels and having the confidence to advocate for myself that have contributed to my success.” — Karellis Rivera

In March, we celebrated Women’s History Month and specifically the incredible contributions women have made to the A/E/C industry during Women in Construction Week. Construction is a historically male-dominated industry, but as the number of women in construction has steadily increased so too has the richness of our culture and the quality of our work.

Earlier this month, Karellis Rivera sat down with the Boston Business Journal, alongside Stephanie O’Brien (Consigli Construction) and Carolyn Jamison (Skanska), to share her experience as a woman in construction and how her role is promoting diversity within the industry.

In her tenure at Commodore, she has led the firm in developing strong, diverse relationships within and beyond the firm. Karellis joined Commodore’s Estimating and Purchasing Department in 2011, where she began collaborating with our estimators and trade partners in procurement.

Now, as Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager, Karellis builds partnerships and programs to advance underrepresented, minority, veteran, and women-owned business partners. Her work has been most instrumental on the Veterans’ Home in Holyoke project, a joint-venture with Commodore Builders and Walsh Brothers. There, she has been helping partners across the Commonwealth get certified with the state’s Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity so they can find more opportunities to build their portfolios.

Her goal? That ten years from now, we’re not looking at diversity as something we must do, but something that happens organically. It’s going to require everyone in our industry working together to promote and mentor our younger generation so they can succeed.

Read the full interview with the Boston Business Journal here.