Best Person for the Job: Janet Bates

Currently located: Summerville, SC

Job title: Client Solutions Manager at JE Dunn Charleston

NAWIC Position title: Immediate Past President of NAWIC Palmetto #385, 2020-2021

Chapter Outreach Chair 2020-2021

President from 2018-2020

Chapter Development Co Chair – National and South Atlantic Region 2020-2021

Membership Chair – South Atlantic Region 2019-2021

Tell us a little bit about your career and current position.
I started in construction 10 years ago after graduated with my MBA from UNC Chapel Hill. I have a background in brand development and marketing and was hired by a regional general contractor to run their marketing department. That grew into business development and I recently moved to JE Dunn where I am responsible for the growth of our portfolio and office in the low-country.

How long have you been a NAWIC member, and how did you learn about NAWIC?
I’ve been a NAWIC member for 2 years and 2 months. A friend of mine invited me to a pre-org meeting for a new chapter in Charleston. I went and liked what I heard and saw, so I volunteered to chair the process through to chartering and was then elected President.

How has NAWIC helped you in your career?
NAWIC gave me a platform – because of my involvement with NAWIC, my message about access to careers in construction and the need for a more equitable workplace was amplified. Being given that platform strengthened my resolve to succeed and to remove the obstacles women face today so that our daughters step into a different looking work environment. Ultimately, the lessons I learned from that experience gave me more confidence to pursue larger opportunities and grow my career.

What is the best part about being a NAWIC member?
The network and support. Having this group has helped me really gain a better understanding of the challenges we all face in our industry and how best to overcome them. I often say that through NAWIC I learned that I was not always the supporter of women I claimed to be. I bought into the idea that there was one seat at the table for us and we must fight each other for it instead of seeing the other 7 seats at the table. I have learned that we are stronger when we help each other than when we buy into the idea that we should be pitted against each other.

Why do you consider NAWIC to be a great organization?
I believe one of the greatest parts of NAWIC is the ability to get leadership and management experience. Too many women experience a lack of deliberate training and opportunities in these areas which stymies their career growth. Through participation on committees and boards, it is easy to gain this experience and increase your viability and career growth potential.

Congratulations to Janet for being recognized as part of our Best Person for The Job feature series. And thank you for all of your contributions to NAWIC! If you know of a NAWIC member that deserves to be recognized, contact us today.

Stay tuned for more NAWIC features, published monthly.