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Women's Month: Meet Lynne Cooper

Lynne is an experienced project and people manager with extensive knowledge of the life science commercial construction industry across multiple decades. She is an innovator and entrepreneur of solutions for the life science industry that increase project successes with fully digitized high-purity process piping in the field as well as new-to-market copper welding to improve outcomes. Lynne has just joined a team brining orbital copper welding to the marketplace. This will support increased worker safety (eyes and lungs) as well as increased performance. This is revolutionary in a variety of ways. Lynee is excited to be working with Critical Systems Inc, based in Boise ID to bring this to the market.

What did you study and what got you into your profession?

I studied at Randolph Macon Woman’s College. I took drafting and carpentry I was drawn to construction from a very young age, and enjoyed working with my hands and seeing the results of my labor come to life, I still do this to this day, I still get just as excited about projects today. My focus was Industrial Organizational Psychology with a Physiology Minor.

What has been your biggest career achievement?

I was a member of the amazing team that brought to life from a napkin list. This facility housed the world’s first ex-vivo lung perfusion process that makes typically discarded lungs and renders them transplantable at the end of their process. This facility facilitated many transplants from our first facility when we brought to life the second facility with Mayo, Jacksonville Florida Campus. When we cut the ribbon on the building, sitting in the first row was a proud and healthy recipient to enjoy the opening of the Florida facility.

What is your current place of work and role?

El sea is an Owner’s Representation firm supporting projects only in the life sciences and technology. My focus is now supporting Critical Systems, Inc. as their Director of Orbital Technologies. Critical Systems, Inc. currently supplies a large percentage of the countries stainless orbital welding machines to the skilled labor force. We are bringing to the market cutting edge welding technology solutions to practicing welders by introducing equipment with training.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust your gut, hone that instinct and listen when it ‘warns’ you. Develop your own life advancement plan that includes a career advancement in addition to the other items in your life, family, friends, hobbies, and enjoyment it all fits together and you get to write your own adventure!

There are unique challenges faced by female commercial construction project managers, and to provide them with resources specifically tailored to their needs. This could include offering networking opportunities, mentorship programs, or access to career development resources that can help them build successful careers in this field.

Finally, it is important to recognize the importance of resilience and perseverance in the face of obstacles. As a female commercial construction project manager, you may have to deal with resistance from clients or coworkers who may not understand your unique professional situation. However, by maintaining an optimistic attitude and striving to continuously improve your skillset, you can achieve success. With dedication and hard work, there is no limit to what you can accomplish.

What does an equitable space look like? How can this create an impact?

Digitization and technology are equalizing space in terms of brute strength. An equitable work environment for the future of the workforce in science and technology should prioritize diversity, inclusion, and equity in a kind and compassionate way. This looks like an environment where people from all backgrounds can contribute their skills, ideas, and perspectives without fear of discrimination or exclusion. Employers are taking steps to ensure that everyone is given a fair chance to succeed, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other factor.

Mentoring and training around how to manage tough emotional situations at work should happen as you onboard employees, from day one having an open line of communication with a safe leader.

Leaders are instituting hiring practices that actively seek out talent from minority populations, cultivating an environment of respect and understanding between employees with different backgrounds, and providing educational opportunities for all workers to increase their knowledge and skillsets.

Additionally, employers should consider the implications of automation on the future workforce and focus on providing ‘upskilling’ opportunities to ensure workers are prepared for potential job changes. By creating a work environment that values diversity, inclusion, and equity, employers can create an environment where all employees feel valued and respected, as well as give everyone an equal opportunity to succeed.