June 23rd marks International Women in Engineering Day, honoring women’s achievements in a traditionally man-dominated field and providing an opportunity to show off their careers, and interests. More women are entering engineering disciplines as they have been inspired by the pioneers before them. Today we commend the women engineers of yesterday and today who will inspire the women of tomorrow.
This month we applaud Kristy Bischoff, Senior Vice President and Director of Engineering at Daft-McCune-Walker (DMW), a women-owned business, who is celebrating 25 years this month as a Civil Engineer at DMW.
DMW: Tell us what you do at DMW.
KB: Oversee the engineering department, managing projects and staff.
DMW: Why did you decide on this career path?
KB: Land development became an interest of mine in high school. I was fortunate enough to attend a technical high school where I was exposed to many different career options. Once I interned at DMW after high school graduation, I never looked back.
DMW: What did you want to be when you grew up?
KB: Very early a veterinarian; later, an architect.
DMW: What keeps you busy these days?
KB: Work (of course) and my 2 kids – school and sporting events
DMW: What is one of the biggest work challenges you’ve faced at DMW?
KB: The work from home challenge that COVID brought to us. Keeping projects moving and meeting deadlines, while finding ways to make sure staff stayed on task and productive while remote.
DMW: What impact do you hope to have here at DMW?
KB: Helping to create well-rounded engineers that know how to focus on the big picture and not get stuck in the weeds.
DMW: If you could snap your fingers and become an expert in something, what would it be?
DMW: What is the best professional advice you’ve ever received?
KB: When faced with a difficult engineering challenge, ask yourself if anyone is going to be hurt by the decision you make. If not, don’t second guess yourself – make the decision and move forward.
DMW: What is one of your biggest work pet peeves?
KB: Avoidable interruptions instead of finding time on my calendar.
DMW: Looking back on your quarter century with the company, what at DMW has made an impact on you?
KB: Seeing and experiencing all the projects I’ve worked on over the years.
DMW: Describe your job in 5 words or less.
KB: Making decisions all day long!
DMW: What’s the weirdest thing we might find in your desk or work bag?
KB: A flexible curve ruler
DMW: Are you more productive in the mornings, afternoons or evenings?
DMW: What’s something your colleagues don’t know about you?
KB: I haven’t always loved what I do here at DMW. I feel this is normal when you are at one place for such a long time. The key is to find ways to change your position so that you are working on more of what you like to do. DMW makes that possible. Every time I needed a change (and sometimes when I didn’t know I needed it), DMW was willing to accommodate me.
DMW: If you could travel anywhere in the world today, where would you go?