Editorial: 03.08.2022

Women in Construction Week Leader Spotlight

A gray and blue graphic of female construction workers.

Castle is home to some of the industry’s most talented women. Every day these experts are leading the way to help Castle deliver exceptional results for our clients and communities. We recently spoke with Christie Brinkman, about her time in the construction industry and what it means to be a leader both in her role at Castle and in her local community.

Meet Christie Brinkman
Castle Director, Design-Build

2022 Women In Construction Week

With Christie Brinkman

What is your role?

My role at Castle is leading the civil design-build group, where we take projects from concept through pad-ready construction delivery.  I am involved in the project throughout the process working with our clients, Castle’s in-house civil engineering team and construction operations team. 

How did you develop a passion for construction?

I started my career in marketing for a small civil DBE engineering firm. It was so fascinating to me to see how all the pieces of an infrastructure project come together and how many different people and agencies might touch something before it ever gets to construction. Years later I was able to work on an innovative safety design-build project for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). After seeing that project work as well as it did, my passion for design-build was even stronger! Getting to work with the talented team at Castle to see how we can solve complex problems quickly and cost-effectively to better serve our clients is absolutely amazing! 

What type of leadership role(s) have you developed within Castle, the construction industry or your community?

At Castle, my role is leading the design-build team. I also had the opportunity to lead our internal philanthropy efforts and serve on our Regional Leadership Group to work toward overall company improvement. Previously I served as co-chair for the communication committee that worked to find ways to improve communication and recognition across different teams. In the community, I served as board president for Home Sweet Home, a non-profit furniture bank. I also led the programs committee for the St. Louis chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) and served on a variety of professional organization boards and committees, including Construction Forum Young Leaders, SLC3 Training and Education, and Urban Land Institute (ULI) programs. 

Why is your leadership in these areas important to you?

I wholly believe as a leader it is our duty to support our team, ensure they have the resources to do their best and to have opportunities to grow. My team at Castle is incredible and I am honored to get to grow this service where we are truly improving project delivery. The best leadership advice I ever received was that my role is to make it better for the next person. I am lucky that my predecessors did this for me and now I get to take on the next iteration and elevate it for the future. 

We have many opportunities, both small and large, to be a leader. What advice do you have for other women who are looking for opportunities to be a construction industry leader?

Look for the places you can add value. If you see something that could be better, try to find a way to implement an improvement. Don’t assume someone has already thought of it -- ask the questions! As women in the industry, we have experienced the world differently and bring a different perspective that our male peers may not have.  Sometimes it’s easy to let that make you feel like an outsider instead of looking at it as strength. Lean into your differences and look for ways that these can improve your project outcomes and your team!

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