During Women in Construction Week, we’re spotlighting the women of CCG who are paving the way and advancing our industry! Today’s feature is Kaitlyn Allgood, Controller at Chesapeake Contracting Group. Kaitlyn followed in her oldest sister’s footsteps by joining the construction industry, starting out as a Project Accountant and working her way up to Controller. Her hard work ethic and continuous education has resulted in years of successful developments within the accounting department, such as implementing an automated accounts payable software that allowed for a seamless transition to working remotely. Her advice to young women entering the industry is to not be afraid to try something new. “At one point in my career, I took a marketing position. It ended up not being the best fit for me (I’m a C/D on the DiSC model), but it was a great experience. I learned so much about our business, I built stronger relationships with our leadership and it ultimately led me to my current role. It’s a great way to see where you excel (or in my case, constructively fail).” A proud mom to two young girls, Kaitlyn is breaking the glass ceiling and showing her daughters that they can, too.
1. What led you to choose construction as your career path?
My older sister, Jennifer, worked for a general contractor in Rockville. When I graduated from college, she encouraged me to apply for a Project Accountant position that they had open. When I told my boss at the time that I got the “big girl” job – he said “you know your sister got you that job, right?” I have been in the industry ever since (thanks Jen!)
2. Who inspires you and why?
I’ve recently been binging the podcast, Second Life. The host is Hillary Kerr of Who What Wear, and she interviews all kinds of inspirational women who have fearlessly mastered major career changes. As a mom to two little girls, I have enjoyed listening to how these mothers, CEOs, designers, writers, artists and more have found their version of success.
3. What do you like most about being a Controller?
Numbers have always been my strong suit but I never saw myself doing taxes or audits. I like being able to drive around and see our projects all over the Mid-Atlantic. To know that I am a small piece of the team that brings them to life is fulfilling.
4. What advice would you give a young woman who's considering entering into construction?
There are so many facets to the construction industry. At one point in my career, I took a marketing position. It ended up not being the best fit for me (I’m a C/D on the DiSC model) but it was a great experience. I learned so much about our business, I built stronger relationships with our leadership and it ultimately led me to my current role. Don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s a great way to see where you excel (or in my case, constructively fail).
5. What is your most memorable moment working in construction?
I don’t get out of the office as much these days (by choice :) ) but this industry has taken me to National Harbor, San Antonio, Fort Worth & Las Vegas – four places I may not have ever visited on my own.
6. What is your favorite or most challenging project you have worked on or been a part of?
Three years ago, we implemented a new accounts payable software that automated every aspect of the AP process – including data entry, approvals, and reporting. While I can’t say configuring & introducing a new program was my favorite project, I was so grateful for it in 2020. Our company seamlessly transitioned to working remotely thanks to the requisite technology that was proactively put in place.
7. What traits does a person need to be successful in the construction industry?
Be teachable and coachable. A willingness to learn will set you apart from your competition. Take the class, get the certification, attend the webinar, ask the hard questions. No one can take your education away from you.