Women in Construction Spotlight: Allyson Schoenberg
By: Claire Sauer
L. Keeley Construction has experienced exponential growth that would not be possible without our hard-working Keeley’ns. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, our Financial Facilities group has worked hard to navigate the challenges that clients are facing when it comes to the future of their physical branches. Allyson Schoenberg, Planning and Development Analyst, has taken on this challenge with grace and dedication while continuously focusing on exceeding customer expectations.
Allyson joined the L. Keeley Financial Facilities team about one year ago in January of 2020. The L. Keeley culture allowed her to hit the ground running and she hasn’t looked back. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented some unprecedented challenges, but Allyson continues to strengthen her client relationships while providing the tools necessary for them to make data-driven decisions when it comes to branch strategy and design. Her team’s focus on collaboration has allowed her to work directly with designers and provide innovative solutions has her clients navigate the pandemic and beyond.
Since beginning her journey at L. Keeley, Allyson has consistently felt empowered in her role. She feels she has the opportunity to above and beyond in taking care of clients. While doing so, she is also able to receive and provide resources and feedback to others. Allyson notes that it is empowering to work at a company with a culture where management is open to new ideas and wants to continuously improve. While every idea may not come to fruition, it is encouraging to know that she is able to speak up and be heard.
Allyson grew up in the construction industry as her great-grandfather was a carpenter and her grandfather was a bricklayer. She wanted to join the industry because it is very satisfying to see ideas turn into physical facilities that are so integral to clients’ success. She loves the fact that the industry provides jobs, homes, and places where we gather together to live, work, and play. Throughout her years in the industry, Allyson has learned and grown a lot, but the most important thing she has learned is the importance of listening.
“Whether or not I agree with someone’s idea or conclusion, their input and opinion can be a valuable insight. Even feedback that is completely off-base can help me sharpen my communication skills or make me see something from a new perspective. Listen to all feedback, analyze it as constructive, and incorporate what works.”
Working in a male-dominated industry can be difficult, but Allyson has embraced it. She has learned to become aware of opportunities and educate herself on direct points of view. However, there is one thing in particular that she has learned can make or break her experience in this industry – speaking out. Speaking out when something isn’t right can be hard, but it is worth it in the long run. She has learned to look for opportunities to learn about others’ points of view and understand that when a well-meaning comment or action goes awry, it is an opportunity for change and for her to show positivity and leadership. For her, being a woman in construction comes with pride and responsibility and if she could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out in the industry, it would be:
“Ask questions, listen, and learn. Find a mentor – someone outside your direct reporting structure that knows the organization or industry and has been successful. Having the wisdom from someone who has already gone down the same path is like having a success booster. There have always been women in construction, the roles are just expanding and changing…individually, it is important to just relate to people as people. Don’t let your gender guide or hinder your path. Just be a person and work to relate with other people on an individual basis.”
While Allyson’s journey with L. Keeley so far has been short, she has immersed herself into the culture and into her work. Her favorite part about being a Keeley’n is that she is working somewhere where everyone is working towards a common goal. Everyone works together to provide the safest and highest quality products for our clients while also taking care of each other and our communities. When Allyson thinks about the future, she sees huge growth for the Keeley Companies as a whole and she is excited to contribute to that success while improving her leadership skills and helping her customers thrive.
Allyson, thank you for your dedication to our Financial Facilities Team. You are an incredible asset to our team, and we cannot wait to watch you grow into an amazing leader!
To learn more about our Financial Facilities group, click here!