This International Women’s Day we are celebrating strong women in the workforce. We sat down with our Vice President, Jenna Kimberley to ask her a series of questions so that you could get to know her better.
What has been your greatest accomplishment since being VP of Kimberley Development?
The learning curve has been steep… My dad has been doing this for 40 years and has built up an incredible amount of expertise in all things relating to real estate, from land development to commercial construction and luxury custom home building. My background is in intelligence, so I came into this 3 years ago rotating through every area of the company to try and soak up as much of that knowledge as possible to enable his company and tradition of excellence in building to continue on for another 40 years. The team I have worked to build around me is second to none and that is my greatest accomplishment thus far. I look forward to seeing where we’re at in 3 years, 5 years, 10 years…
What is it like to be a woman in a heavily male driven industry?
Challenging. I’ve found that many men over a certain age have a very hard time respecting a woman in my position. Millennial-aged men have grown up seeing women as equals for the most part, so no problem with my own generation from that standpoint. Thick skin is a must in the construction industry, whether you’re a man or woman, but even more so as a young woman. You can’t demand respect, so you just outwork everyone else until your accomplishments speak for themselves.
What message you would want to send to younger girls interested in a field that may be male dominated?
See earlier point on having thick skin. I still have days where I think “what am I doing here?” but that is normal in any challenging situation and if anything, invites me to step up to the challenge and exceed expectations. Being a competent, hard-working woman in a male dominated field offers many opportunities to surprise people, and that is a great feeling – one that I wish for all young girls – you’ll even surprise yourself when you’re able to look back and appreciate what you’ve accomplished and that it wasn’t an easy road to get there. Mentorship is a huge part of that. I have always had strong women (and men) in my life. That has shaped who I have become more than anything other than my faith.
Who is a woman that inspires you the most and why?
My mom. She has a heart of gold and a backbone of steel. Best of both worlds. If I end up being half the person she is, as a mother, a hard worker, a compassionate, non-judgmental human being who works tirelessly for others, who never gives up on anyone in her life and forgives the way anyone who subscribes to a higher faith is called to, I’ll consider myself a success.
Can you reveal what’s on the horizon for Kimberley Development?
Great things. My passion is building a team to push for more – more efficiencies, more technology, more innovation, more outstanding homes for our luxury buyers, more affordable quality homes for our millennial buyers. My personal focus is working on more innovative land-uses in our developments that offer a greater quality of living for our homeowners who will live there in the way of nature trails and walkability, historic preservation and education, and more shared community features. Communities in the area so far have tended to offer more of this for the 55+ market segment. I’ve got my eye on communities on the coasts that offer this for their younger single family markets. My brother and I grew up playing outside and building forts and meeting up with the neighbor kids. I want to build communities that offer that for today’s kids in a safe, creative, educational, and innovative way.