Women in Construction Spotlight: Catherine Joslin

Few people at Webcor exemplify our “Bold” core value the way Catherine Joslin has consistently done since the day she joined Webcor.

March 6, 2023

Employee Spotlight

Sunday, March 5 kicked off the first day of 2023's Women in Construction Week--a week dedicated to celebrating women as indispensable members of the construction industry. Today through Friday, we’ll be highlighting the experiences, challenges, and accomplishments of five outstanding women from various Webcor teams.

Few people at Webcor exemplify our “Bold” core value the way Catherine Joslin, assistant superintendent with Webcor Concrete (WCG), has consistently done since the day she joined Webcor in January 2017. After a year and a half on the project management route with Shimmick Construction, Catherine knew she was ready for a major career change—ideally far away from the office and right in the middle of the field.

“In late 2016, I got a call out of the blue from Webcor Concrete inviting me to interview,” she says. “My buddy from college, Matt Miller (current Webcor Craft superintendent), had been a project engineer (PE) for a while, loved it, and referred me without telling me. We had kept in touch, and he knew I was unhappy at my old job.”

The rest, as they say, was history. For her first project, Catherine was assigned to SFO’s Harvey Milk Terminal 1 Boarding Area B project as a Webcor Concrete project engineer. Immediately, she felt a sense of belonging and passion for the work that she’d sorely lacked as an office PE at Shimmick. Despite still being a somewhat recent college graduate and new to the company, Catherine was quickly trusted as a critical member of the team who would work just as hard as everyone else to deliver the best results possible. Fueled by the infectious energy and determination of her teammates to get the job done right regardless of the time commitment—sometimes 20-hour days—she spent those first couple years on the BAB project soaking up all the knowledge she could about the craft world and what it would take to eventually become a Webcor Concrete superintendent.

Catherine’s come a long way since that January day, now more than six years ago. She’s now one of Webcor’s top subject matter experts (SMEs) in Revit—a 3D software WCG uses to model projects and create 2D shop drawings for the field—and the assigned superintendent for the Building 610 concrete scope at the SFPUC Biosolids Digester Facilities Project (BDFP). She also played a critical role in launching Webcor Timber, Webcor Craft’s newest self-perform division, and is currently preplanning the mass timber portion of Webcor Timber’s 828 Brannan project. The journey to this point has been far from easy, but Catherine wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The beaming sense of pride that comes with building something massive and beautiful, especially knowing all the tireless work that went into delivering it, is one of the most rewarding parts of this job,” Catherine says. “I’ve also loved getting to solve problems on the fly and developing meaningful relationships with Webcor Craft workers.”

Her teammates were a constant source of support during one of the toughest challenges of her life, she shares. In 2019, Catherine injured her spine, resulting in a loss of feeling and muscle control in her left leg. After undergoing emergency spine surgery, she was left with a limp in her leg that she was worried would prevent her from ever walking normally again—or from walking on rebar again.

“I had to wear a leg brace for two years,” she says. “I was afraid my injury would keep me from doing my job properly, but thankfully, I had an extremely supportive team that helped me through it.

“The experience definitely reinforced the need for a safely set-up job site. Now, my rule is that if I can’t navigate it with my wonky leg, it’s not safe enough. Unfortunately, this chronic spine injury is keeping me from doing my proper tour of bags-on duty, which is a constant source of disappointment.”

Despite the trying challenges (both expected and unexpected) thrown her way, however, Catherine has always refused to back down. She knows she’s finally right where she belongs, and she’s hungry for more growth, more knowledge, and more lessons learned in the field as she prepares to become the first woman to hold an official superintendent title in Webcor Concrete.