Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? My high school architecture teacher always encouraged girls to consider a career as an architect. Starting my freshman year I learned hand sketching, how things are put together, and how architecture helps you understand the world around you. In college, the faculty was wonderful. They pushed me to sit in the front of the room and to be just as competitive as my male classmates. My first job out of college was with Margulies Perruzzi (MP). I started as an intern and after less than a month, they offered me a full-time job. MP is a very supportive community.

What tips or advice would you offer to other women who are considering entering the construction industry? Step outside of your comfort zone. How? By believing in yourself and having confidence in what you are doing. I make sure I am knowledgeable about a topic and have the research to back it up so I can bring something thoughtful to the discussion. Learn how to take feedback. No one is perfect at everything and we can all learn new things. Share your ideas and your process. It’s a collaborative industry and no one stands alone. The best work is going to come from a team and we all bring a different perspective to the design process.

See Jessica Sulprizio featured in NEREJ’s spotlight for Women in Construction 2022.

When you’re not busy, what is your go to book or podcast to help you unwind? The pandemic has definitely brought reading back into my life. I’m currently reading everything by the author Kristin Hannah. I finished up The Nightingale, a fictional story about two sisters in WWII France as well as The Four Winds, a story about the Great Depression in the Great Plains. I learn a lot from the podcast Armchair Expert. Hosted by Dax Shepard, they interview celebrities, journalists, and academics and it “celebrates the messiness of being human.”

What tips or advice would you offer to other women who are considering entering the construction industry? Always be prepared, do your research, and have fun. When women know their worth and show confidence on a jobsite, nothing can stop them.

Starting out in the construction business, who or what empowered you? I am lucky that I attended a university, Colorado State University, that had Construction Management as a major. This allowed the Interior Design major to be integrated, so from the beginning we were taking construction classes in addition to interior design courses. The university always treated us the way interior designers should be treated, as intellectuals. Many times, in the field, we are looked down upon, as if we can only select finishes or fabrics. We are required to know so much more than that: building systems, codes, construction standards, contract administration, design application, professional practice, and project coordination.

See Ashley McGrath featured in NEREJ’s spotlight for Women in Construction 2022.

From a young age, Jenna Meyers, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP knew she wanted to do something creative and took every art class offered at her high school. During her senior year, she took an interior design course and fell in love with the subject, going on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in interior design.

Ten years ago, Jenna moved to Boston and joined New England architectural and interior design firm, Margulies Perruzzi (MP). As a senior interior designer, Jenna brings 15 years of extensive design experience to the MP team, contributing her strengths in design development, programming, project management, and coordination. As a workplace studio leader, she specializes in working closely with clients to create custom-designed spaces, reflecting their unique brand, mission, and culture.

Recently promoted to senior associate, Jenna heads up the workplace studio at MP and helps develop the firm’s workplace strategies. MP’s most recent report, Volume 5 Workplace Strategy Report: Embracing the Hybrid Workspace, affirms the logic of transitioning from a traditional to hybrid model. A survey of 8,600 people across multiple business sectors revealed that 44% of workers plan on being in the office three days a week, and 25% plan on two days. Only 9% responded that they would return to a pre-pandemic office presence.

Jenna says she enjoys mentoring designers at MP and believes we fail if we don’t teach the next generation.  Her advice to anyone interested in a career in interior design is “Enjoy the process, learn how to listen, and make yourself valuable.”

See Jenna Meyers featured in High-Profile’s full article on Women in Construction.