MCAA’s WiMI Mentor/Mentee Program Continues to Go Strong – Introducing Kathy and Paige!

September 17, 2020

Paige Taylor has been a Project Engineer at MMC Contractors in Des Moines, IA for the past two and a half years and was formerly a member of the Iowa State Student Chapter. While Paige has always felt very supported in her career and came into this program with goals already set, she’s found it beneficial to have Kathy to bounce ideas and goals off of, as well as  learn about her experiences in the industry .

Kathy McCauley ­­is President of McCauley Mechanical Construction Inc. in Bridgeview, IL, a member of the MCAA Board of Directors and also serves  on the  WiMI Committee. She has been in the industry for 36 years and 29 years with MCA of Chicago. In 2004, Kathy was elected  President of MCA of Chicago. That marked her as the 4th generation in her family to take on that role and the first female president. Kathy shared that yes she did wear a pink suit coat to the inauguration!  Kathy­ was inspired to help create this WiMI mentor/mentee program as an opportunity to give back due to a lack of such program when she came up in the industry.

Kathy and Paige  started their relationship  with phone calls every three weeks. Kathy shared; ‘I loved the momentum we had going before the world turned upside down”. Like many of the pairs, Kathy and Paige were planning on meeting in person in 2020 but both planned trips were cancelled due to the pandemic. They are looking forward to getting that opportunity again in 2021 and plan to continue the mentorship beyond the initial six month commitment. Both agree that they’d love to see more opportunities to be able to network with other mentor/mentee pairs which has been a challenge.

Paige shared that even though there are so many women she looks up to in her own company being a part of WiMI has been a nice opportunity to have outside options for advice. She’s always on the lookout for the chance to connect with women her own age and to learn from them first-hand. The pair loves sharing interesting reads, opportunities or resources to check out. Kathy shared the Brilliant Balance podcast and invitations to virtual professional development seminars through the WiMi group in Chicago and Paige recommended the book How Women Rise and brought up the twelve habits for discussion. Paige has been inspired by Kathy’s dedication to the industry through her teaching and her involvement in not only MCAA but other leadership organizations as well.

For Kathy, this program has been a reminder to get out of her world and remember what it’s like to be new in the industry. “It’s hard for me to remember what is was like when I started.” Although things have come a long way since she entered the industry, there’s still room for growth and improvement.

When asked what her best piece of advice for Paige and all other young females in this industry at this time, Kathy replied; “Listen to everything that anyone wants to teach you. And don’t take anything too seriously! You need a sense of humor to get through this industry.”

For more information visit the Women in the Mechanical Industry Initiative Page.

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