Haskell Senior Project Director Denise Muth will lead a roundtable discussion titled “Self-Care in the Construction Industry” at this week’s Groundbreaking Women in Construction Conference in San Francisco.

May 10, 2023

9 Things I Would Tell My Younger Self: A ‘Groundbreaking’ List

Haskell's Denise Muth will lead the 'Self-Care in the Construction Industry' roundtable during the Groundbreaking Women in Construction Conference.


Denise Muth was a single mother starting her climb up the construction ranks before anyone had seen a laptop or a cell phone at a job site. As you can imagine, her lessons-learned file fills volumes.

Muth, a Senior Project Director in Haskell’s Healthcare Construction Market, will draw from more than 30 years of discoveries, stories and resources this week when she leads a roundtable discussion titled “Self-Care in the Construction Industry” during the Groundbreaking Women in Construction Conference in San Francisco.

She said preparing for the conference required a trip down Memory Lane.

“I had pages and pages of notes that I had to narrow down,” she said. “It was just the memories and the laughs and the tears and thinking about how technology has changed things. I was a single mom when I was getting started. Not having a laptop, not having a cell phone, not having the ability to do things after I put my daughter to bed and having to go to the job site to do work on paper. Things have transpired with technology to change the industry, and yet some other things are still kind of archaic.”

Women make up about 10.9% of construction professionals, and the number is growing. Gender bias has improved but remains. Equality and equity will be on the table during what she envisions as a highly interactive session. She’ll also touch on topics such as internal toughness, fortitude, organizational skills and mindfulness.

“I've never really waived the I'm a woman flag,” Muth said. “I’ve always just tried to be a really damn good project manager or project director who happens to be a woman. I think that has probably led to my success or helped my success. There were things in how I handled myself that served me and things that I honed that helped me become who I am.”

The experiences she gained climbing from a role in project accounting into and through the project management ranks to the project executive level coalesced into the following list, which she’ll share during the session.

Nine Things I Would Tell My Younger Self

  1. The Golden Rule WORKS.
  2. You cannot delegate taking care of yourself. And wear sunscreen (seriously).
  3. Know the black and white (rules) before going gray.
  4. Notice the Lollypop (and anti-Lollypop) moments.
  5. Track your experience, your accomplishments, your achievements. YOU need to know and document what you have done.
  6. You are not above anything – lead by example – get sweaty, break a nail.
  7. Celebrate and enjoy the successes; look for them every day. On the other hand, don’t let one bad thing ruin your day (she said to herself).
  8. Consider situations from others’ perspectives. Learn how they approach, anticipate, and respect.
  9. Don’t bitch about it. Do something if you can.

Haskell delivers $2± billion annually in Architecture, Engineering, Construction (AEC) and Consulting solutions to assure certainty of outcome for complex capital projects worldwide. Haskell is a global, fully integrated, single-source design-build and EPC firm with over 2,200 highly specialized, in-house design, construction and administrative professionals across industrial and commercial markets. With 20+ office locations around the globe, Haskell is a trusted partner for global and emerging clients.

Promoting and expanding diversity and inclusion is a strategic pillar of Haskell’s long-term vision and is foundational to creating a team member experience of significance, success and satisfaction. Haskell Together is our intentional and consistent initiative to promote open dialogue and bring about positive change.

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