What's it like being a woman in business? Let's refine that even more; What's it like being a woman in the construction industry? These four extraordinary women from PBS Contractors have great insight into what it takes to succeed. They are a snapshot of the women of PBS who are breaking boundaries, bringing fresh perspectives, creating empowering environments, and building a foundation of inclusivity for the next generation.
"It has been an enriching experience to be a part of the PBS Contractors Team, as I have had the opportunity to learn about the construction industry and surround myself with powerful women in business. I'm inspired by the strong women around me—whether my family, friends, or those I work with—how they continue to break boundaries and provide new perspectives, especially in a male-dominated industry. I look forward to one day being a leader to empower and uplift the next generation of young women."
Bela Lesende, Marketing & Sales Coordinator
With PBS since 2022
"Whether coincidentally or by design, I've been in male-dominated fields my entire career—solid waste management, police and government administration, and now, construction. Unfortunately, I've found that most organizations (whether deliberately or inadvertently) have hurdles and obstacles for women to maneuver through. We must be extremely hard working and exceptionally good at what we do, maybe even a little better than our male counterparts, to overcome them.
My trick has been to check my ego at the door and always listen, watch, and learn. Then I invite myself to meetings and never stay in my swim lane. But I do so in a non-threatening, non-competitive way. It's the results that matter, not who gets the credit. Whether you are the leader, a supporter, or the catalyst, positively impacting people and the organization is your 'business superpower'."
Len Price, Director of Talent
With PBS since 2021
"I happened into construction totally by accident. I started as a dispatcher at a waste management company and was recruited into dispatch for a construction company 17 years ago, and that is when I got the construction bug! In 2012, I was fortunate to be hired by PBS Contractors. I started in reception, and a little over a year later, moved to be their first Assistant Project Manager since the downturn. I love being part of the process—seeing the before—that empty piece of land or an empty building space—and watching it transform into something beautiful. That's my favorite part. The Holocaust Museum, for example, started as a slab of concrete and one big open space, and now look at it! Being a woman in the construction business is never dull—and we certainly bring a new perspective. There are many moving parts in the business, which keeps it exciting and keeps me loving coming to work every day."
Christina Hatch, Assistant Project Manager
With PBS since 2012
"I started my career in construction in 1990 as a payroll clerk and, six years later, was hired by PBS Contractors. As a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, I knew early on that I had to take a few extra steps to succeed in an industry predominantly led by men. As a woman in business, I felt I needed the extra knowledge and credential to be taken seriously. With the support of PBS and owner Russell Budd, I earned my Bachelor of Science in Accounting all while raising two young children. I returned to school six years later for my Master of Business Administration. In 2013, I was promoted to CFO and wanted to bring the softer side to the business. As important as the numbers are to a successful company, being surrounded by good people, both men and women, was just as important. While there is still a huge gender gap in the industry, I know that more women in leadership roles will open the doors for more to follow. What's my greatest advice? Be confident, don't let people underestimate you, be a great mentor, and never stop learning."
Kim Ortegon, CFO
With PBS since 1996