Over the past few years W. M. Jordan Company Project Manager, Kim Gibson, and Director of Marketing, Jennifer Johnson, recognized and celebrated that more women were entering the construction industry. They knew there was a need for tailored educational opportunities for the women and men in our organization centered around this topic to provide them with overall strategies to succeed. Thus, the idea for the W. M. Jordan Women In Construction Network was born.
Kim and Jennifer, both members of the WMJ Learning Advisory Board, brought the idea to the group with the hope of setting up a solid foundation for the WMJ WIC Network. With the Learning Advisory Board’s support and guidance, planning for the WMJ WIC Network began.
Director of Marketing
The goal of the WMJ WIC Network is to strengthen relationships by providing the women of WMJ with valuable educational and mentoring opportunities that support and promote career advancement, leadership development and areas to succeed. An additional goal was to be inclusive. Bringing men and women together at the same table will only strengthen our relationships and perspectives with each other in a collaborative environment.
“We want to celebrate successes for women in construction, while also appreciating everyone who has helped them along the way,” said Kim. “Women bring a lot of positives to construction teams, working together allows teams to utilize everyone’s strengths while also seeing the project from different perspectives.”
Both men and women will be encouraged and welcomed to participate in WMJ WIC Network meetings and discussions.
“Active engagement from our male peers will only make this group stronger,” said Jennifer. “We want our events to be inclusive to everyone and our hope is that this group will help foster opportunities for growth and mentorship across the entire WMJ team.”
Kim joined W. M. Jordan as a Project Administrator, eventually moving to the Project Engineer role before being promoted to Project Manager in 2017. She credits the support of WMJ’s leadership for helping the growth of her career.
“The leadership at W. M. Jordan has always been supportive of my career goals and continually encourages and helps me achieve those goals. Working here has allowed me to advance my career while still being able to put my family first.”
Jennifer started off at WMJ as a summer intern, joining the team full-time as a marketing coordinator in 2009. Since then, advanced to Marketing Manager and finally Director of Marketing. She also credits W. M. Jordan team members for helping her thrive in the construction industry.
“The entire executive team has always been so supportive of me and my ideas,” said Jennifer. “Skip Smith and Cheryl Browne believed in me when they hired me as an intern at the start of my career. They challenged me and pushed me to think outside the box, all while helping me learn the ins and outs of the construction industry.”
The initial goal of the WMJ WIC Network is to meet at least four times a year, with events ranging from guest speakers, site visits and lunch & learns. Additional book clubs and podcast series discussions are also planned.
The inaugural event for the WMJ WIC Network held Tuesday morning featured guest speaker Heather Robinson, Owner of interior design firm, Within Interior Design, Inc. and President of Tazewell Contracting. Heather, who is self-made and a successful entrepreneur, focused her discussion on being driven, focusing on your capabilities and following your passion.
“When you start not worrying about what you can’t do, that is when the good stuff starts to happen,” said Robinson.
Robinson ended her presentation by encouraging everyone to take risks if they want to be successful, particularly when you are younger. Failure, she also said, is something to not be afraid of, and to learn from. “If you make a left and it’s not working, instead of quitting, don’t be afraid to take a right and find what your passion is.”
The WMJ WIC Network is just one more step in our Relentless Pursuit of Excellence.