Celebrating Women in Construction: Kayla Fields

Women are an immovable force behind our success and we are proud to celebrate women in leadership roles at all levels throughout Reaume Richardson. We sat down Kayla Fields, Assistant Superintendent currently working on our 740 S Broadway project, about how she began her career and thrived in a traditionally male dominated corner of the construction industry.

 

What is your role with Reaume Richardson and how long have you been here?

My role is an Assistant Superintendent, this entails being responsible for all day to day activities, scheduling, site safety, and quality control. I am constantly coordinating between all respected subcontractors on site in regards to problem solving and placement of any finish items and path of travels. My biggest ongoing concerns are always safety and making sure that all crews slow down and consider the safest and not necessarily always the fastest way to get things done. I also assist with production, and am often the  liaison between city departments and engineering/ design to help push forward critical path items.

What initially drew you into construction?

 I made it a goal at a young age to find what I love to do in my spare time, and figure out a way to make it my career. As a kid I didn’t have too much, so I spent most of my after school time building tree houses, forts, and coming up with ways to make nothing into something for my friends and I to do. My father was a finishing carpenter and I would hover around him in his shop and help him with projects at any chance I could get. In my young adult years, I maneuvered myself into the studio work and was eventually admitted into the Carpenters Art Department through building film sets, and was then able to join the Set Dressers Local 44 Union. Some say I was crazy for leaving the Union for Construction, but I love the challenge and couldn’t see myself anywhere else.

How did you get your start?

I got my start in my 20’s building TV sets for Wipe Out (4 years) and small budget movies. My next move was to become a Project Coordinator for MedMen as they expanded in LA. This is where I was introduced to Reaume Richardson (then City Constructors), when we hired them to build out the Broadway MedMen. When I left MedMen I was invited to an interview for Reaume Richardson and jumped at the chance! Since then I have enjoyed every challenge/ project thrown my way.

What challenges accompanied starting a career in construction?

I would say my biggest challenge starting for a General Contractor, (that largely works on adaptive reuse and retrofitting in DTLA) was, that I was very green. I was lucky enough to join a very supportive and helpful team during my first project. I am a quick learner, driven and very passionate so I kept pushing and worked every day to be better.  My fierce and persistent attitude has definitely helped push my growth in a short timeframe, however I cant say I would have been possible without my team at Reaume Richardson!

What are the most rewarding aspects of your role, and working in construction in general?

 The most rewarding part of the role is seeing my crews work together and be determined and enjoy the project. To be respected as a Superintendent isn’t the easiest thing to come by and your mood, determination, knowledge, and stamina are a very large part of keeping the project moving forward. To see a project go from initial demolition and dirt piles, to clean concrete floors, new staircases, and freshly painted walls is the most fulfilling thing in the world to me.

What advice would you have for others considering entering the construction field?

Be humble, and willing to learn as much as you possibly can, constantly. ALWAYS ask for help when you need it. The thing I say the most is “team work makes the dream work”. I absolutely live by that.