Irene Hall has long been a champion for women in the building industry, and in 2013 helped found the Professional Women in Building (PWB) council, which is part of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association.
As the Chair of PWB, Hall has big plans for its 155 members for the year ahead. In this Q+A with Atlanta Business Chronicle reporter Lisa Schoolcraft, Hall shares her ideas.
The home building industry has traditionally been very male dominated. How is that changing?
Women have the innate ability to balance many balls and succeed. I think that the industry recognizes the need for women to take leadership roles. This includes women CEOs of national building companies, leaders in architecture and land acquisition, development, suppliers and finance. Most home buying decisions are made by women and it only makes sense that decisions led by women with influence in the industry are what will make a significant difference to a company’s success. I think men are really understanding and embracing the value of that now. Forty-seven percent of privately-owned U.S. firms have women as the majority owner or equal partner — and about 885,000 of these firms are in the construction industry. Construction is also one of the industries with the fastest growth in women-oriented businesses. (American Express OPEN state of women-owned businesses report, 2011)