How to Keep the Momentum of Women in Building Going

Professional Women in Building Council

NAHB’s Professional Women in Building (PWB) Week may be coming to an end, but celebrating and empowering women in the home building industry is a year-round job.

This year’s PWB Week emphasized the importance of supporting the next generation of women in the home building industry, celebrated women in the trades, promoted diversity and highlighted some of the amazing work of PWB members and councils.

Participants also discussed some of the challenges that come with being a woman in a male-dominated field and maintaining a work-life balance.

Here’s what a few PWB members have to say about keeping that momentum going beyond PWB Week.

1. Focus on consistency.

Although longtime member Carole Jones got started with PWB “on accident,” she never stopped coming back and participating in PWB events.

“My husband went to an NAHB meeting and I didn’t have anything to do, so I went over to the PWB group,” she said.

That simple beginning eventually led her to PWB leadership opportunities, professional awards and lifelong friends. In 2007, she was named PWB’s Woman of the Year.

Jones recommends NAHB’s Shop Talks as an easy way for busy professionals to stay involved. Also, she says attending meetings, volunteering and traveling to the International Builders’ Show are valuable ways to support women in the industry.

2. Keep shining the spotlight on inspiring women.

During PWB Week’s social media takeover, members flooded Facebook and LinkedIn with posts celebrating women in building with the hashtags #NAHBWomenInBuilding, #NAHBWomenInBuildingWeek, #WeAllBuild and #NAHB.

But it doesn’t need to be PWB Week to acknowledge women for their accomplishments in home building, said Emily Boyd, 2021 PWB Member of the Year.

Boyd pointed to NAHB PWB Immediate Past Chair, Terri Everhart, as one of the women who inspire BIA Bay Area PWB members.

“We’re thrilled to highlight her as an example of someone always looking for someone to celebrate, promote and bring into the PWB familyhood,” Boyd said.

3. Don’t get discouraged.

Women in the industry are used to breaking down barriers and navigating unique challenges, and Melissa Simeon, Home Builders Association of Greater New Orleans PWB chair, knows how rewarding it can be to stick to your goals.

The council struggled to bounce back after the pandemic and the first few in-person events after COVID weren’t well-attended, but that didn’t deter Simeon and the rest of the council.

“The more that we had events, the more people started to come because they knew we were consistently meeting and bringing together women in the industry,” she said.

The HBA of Greater New Orleans PWB Council recently hosted about 200 attendees for a cook-off event that raised money for the group’s scholarship.

Learn more about PWB Week.

Here are a few additional, easy ways to stay engaged throughout the year:

  • Follow our Facebook and LinkedIn pages for access to exclusive PWB Week content, and engage with the community on those platforms using the hashtags #NAHBWomenInBuilding, #NAHBWomenInBuildingWeek, #WeAllBuild and #NAHB.
  • Read all the inspiring accomplishments of PWB members in the industry by downloading the latest issue of Building Women magazine. It is free to all NAHB members.

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