Celebrating Women at Opus

3/8/2022
Today marks International Women's Day, a day to celebrate and acknowledge the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. And yesterday marked the start of Women in Construction Week, time set aside to recognize the work of women in the industry. With women working across many areas of our organization – real estate development, construction project management, architecture, engineering and business partner services, we're excited for the opportunity to recognize them.

Here are just a few of the many women making an impact at Opus.

Kristin Weise, Director of Marketing Operations 

Why did you choose to work in your field? 

I didn't really choose it; it chose me. After graduating with a degree in Economics I still wasn't really sure what I wanted to do, but I had a cousin that worked at a local commercial real estate brokerage company and encouraged me to apply there. I ended up working on an industrial team and quickly gained a liking for commercial real estate. This was nearly 30 years ago, and I was one of only two women working at the company as a broker at the time. Instead of shying away from this opportunity, I embraced it and have been working in commercial real estate ever since – from brokerage, to project management, to development and now marketing – I'm been afforded many opportunities in this industry.

What is your advice to women considering or beginning a career in your field?

Don't be afraid to try something new and step outside your comfort zone. You never know how it will turn out.

What is a gender stereotype that you'd like to challenge?

I'd challenge them all. If someone tells me I'm not as good or I can't do something, that just pushes me to prove them wrong. My Dad told me at a very young age that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind out to do, regardless of gender.

How can you influence others' beliefs and actions?

Be a good role model and lead by example.

Who is another woman at Opus that you admire? 

Kim Noonan​. I wouldn't be where I am today in my career without her leadership and guidance.

Sarah Kuderer, Office Coordinator, Architecture & Engineering

What is one way you can forge positive visibility of women – at Opus, on the jobsite, in the world?

As women continue to pursue careers and expand opportunities outside traditional fields previously available, we have innate responsibility to support and guide other women. This is especially important for male-dominated careers, but also transcends to any opportunity that allow our female peers to excel. Inherently supporting women and their goals creates positive reinforcement that not only enhances visibility, but also ensures consistent progress.

Brittany Rihanek, Manager of Content Marketing

Why did you choose to work in your field? 

I studied a number of things in college but found my way into the business school to study marketing. I liked that it combined other things I had studied and was interested in – psychology, English and journalism.

What is your advice to women considering or beginning a career in your field?

My advice for a woman considering any field is to learn as much as possible – talk to people currently in the field, job shadow or do internships.

What is a gender stereotype that you'd like to challenge?

Despite many successful women leaders, women's leadership is sometimes given the side eye. While every woman is different, women bring unique skills to leadership.

What is one way you can forge positive visibility of women – at Opus, on the jobsite, in the world?

We can advocate for and encourage women – at Opus and beyond – from whatever level we're at. It doesn't take a leader to encourage others. And wherever we are we should leave the door open for others who come up behind us.

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Check out past features for International Women's Day and Women in Construction Week to read more thoughts from women at Opus.

Celebrating Women at Opus 2021
  • Meagan Benson, Client Services Manager (then Project Manager)
  • Kim Noonan, Vice President of Marketing & Brand
  • Kara McLaughlin, Project Coordinator
International Women's Day 2020
  • Lisa Billing, AIA, LEED Green Associate, Senior Project Architect (then Project Architect)
  • Christine Butterfield, RPA, Office & Facilities Manager
  • Margie Schmitt, CPA, Controller, Development
Women in Construction Week 2020
  • Kelsie Lanz, Associate Project Manager
Women in Construction Week 2019
  • Beth Duyvejonck, Regional Vice President of Construction (then Director, Project Management)
  • Megan Hunsberger, Project Manager


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