Kahua is highlighting some of our customers, partners and employees for Women in Construction Week 2022. Today, we talk to Kahua’s very own Kati Marwitz, Vice President of Strategy.
What sparked your interest in the construction industry?
My parents were electrical contractors, so I grew up in the construction industry, and I was really involved in my dad’s company. When I was 16, computers were just starting to come out, and my dad discovered a job cost accounting and estimating software at a tradeshow that he thought would be really helpful.
I was tasked with transitioning the company’s current manual accounting to computerized accounting, while computerizing his entire company. Since this was prior to ‘Windows’, it was a cross between developing content and writing code because nothing really existed at that time, and you had to create as you went. I understood computers really well and had been around the industry growing up, so this furthered my learning, and I ended up becoming a software dealer for the company after college. My experience was unique since I understood accounting, construction and software, which has also been perfect for my role at Kahua as well.
What has been the most challenging aspect of working in an industry dominated by men?
I think a lot of the challenge for women is getting over stereotypes associated with the construction industry. I had the opportunity to start a high school internship program for females and minorities in the industry that focused on STEM careers. Mentoring younger professionals and instilling the belief that every person’s voice is important and they have a right to be at the table is really valuable when expanding our workforce.
How do you see the industry/Kahua working to empower women in their roles?
Kahua is looking to invest in female developers and have started a mentoring program that benefits not only women, but also professionals in every level of their career.
What has been the most rewarding part of your role?
The mentoring and the leadership. To help guide young people to help figure out what makes a difference and realize their full potential. It’s all about relationships. Even if you have a bad leader, it’s an opportunity to learn what you don’t want to do. It doesn’t matter what level you are at in an organization. Pay it forward and remember what it was like for them and who supported them.
How do you see women play a role in the way technology is shaping the industry?
More women coming into leadership roles is a step forward. And then passing that mentorship on to others can help change the future as well.