Professional Women in Building: Three leading ladies
September 22, 2022
Sept. 12–16 marked the annual Professional Women in Building (PWB) Week, celebrating women’s important and growing role in the building industry. Professional Women in Building councils provide support and mentorship at the local, state and national levels.
This year to celebrate, BIAW is highlighting three leading ladies of the PWB who are involved at different levels: Member, local leadership and national leadership.
McKenzie Medeiros, OMB PWB Member
Becoming a member of the Olympia Master Builders (OMB) PWB Council has been an eye-opening experience for McKenzie Medeiros of Family Man Remodeling. Since joining, Medeiros has been surrounded by other members who are invested in seeing women business owners and their companies succeed in the building industry.
The council has provided Medeiros an opportunity to build business relationships and friendships. Through her experience, she is learning that “where women build together, they grow together.” The OMB PWB Council is where women can grow and take their businesses to the next level.
Jennifer Tennyson, MBAKS 2022 PWB Chair
As a teen, Jennifer Tennyson’s father tried to convince her not to go into the building industry because it was “no place for a lady,” even though he knew it was inevitable. Now, as a business owner, Tennyson is a champion for women in the building industry.
Tennyson was inspired to get involved with the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties PWB Council after an uplifting and empowering conference she attended in 2019. Since joining, she has been pushed to grow personally and professionally, leading her down the path of becoming the 2022 MBAKS PWB chair.
Being part of the PWB Council has provided a sense of community and comradery in a male-dominated industry. Tennyson states, “Sometimes it can feel a bit challenging being the only woman, or one of a few women on a jobsite, and PWB is a great resource—not only for comradery but also for empowering and educating our members.”
She wants women to know that the building industry is an excellent choice for everyone, including women. MBAKS PWB Council aims to provide resources and tools for women to break the glass ceiling—and with one of the lowest wage gaps of all industries, the building industry offers women the opportunity to do so.
Luellen Smith, NAHB PWB Second Vice President
Luellen Smith is a national leader in the homebuilding industry. As the Second Vice President of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) PWB Council, she understands the importance of supporting women in the trades.
As more women begin their careers in the industry, PWB councils offer a place to turn for networking, professional development and educational events at a national, state and local level. “I am very proud of how our members support the greater good of our industry and each other,” Smith states. As part of the NAHB PWB Council, members have the opportunity to network with women on a national level.
With more than 2,300 members nationally of various ages, religions and races, NAHB’s PWB Council encourages everyone to take a seat at the table, share their ideas, and challenge themselves.
Support women builders
While PWB Councils provide an opportunity for women to grow professionally and personally as part of a larger group, you don’t have to be a member to show support or join. Anyone can inspire and encourage tradeswomen and help build the next generation of skilled workers. The national PWB Council directory includes 116 men and women from all across Washington.
To learn more about the PWB Councils, contact Digital Communications Manager Danielle Winski at (360) 352-7800 ext 143 or daniellew@BIAW.com.