Women Executives in Building: Virtual Leadership Series

Workforce Development: Current Strategies that Will Help Increase Diversity and Inclusion

Date: June 25, 2020, 2:00-3:00 pm EST

Location: Zoom Virtual Meeting

Women in trades are daring to confront stereotypes that are still holding women back. Powerful women defying the odds in a predominantly male industry need to be aligned to increase awareness of labor shortages and lack of diversity. Most importantly, we must come together to reach a more diverse audience, including the young women and girls who may not consider this as a career path.

These monthly virtual meetings will lead up to the second annual Women Executives in Building Summit on May 5-6, 2021 in Nashville, TN.  

Who Should Attend: All female C-Suite executives in the building industry, from association executives to women–owned and operated trade businesses.

Event format: There are no panels or programming. This is a conversation with other C-Suite female executives in a safe, thought-provoking environment. The May session focused on productivity and serving your respective customers in a time of crisis.  


With more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, Novak brings extensive expertise in oversight and responsibility for Profit and Loss. In her current role as Chief Innovation Officer for Compass Datacenters, her focus is cutting edge technology, lean practices, and innovative culture through diversity of thought to add value, improve return on investment, and disrupt the construction industry. Prior to joining Compass Datacenter’s Novak was National Vice President of Operations for Balfour Beatty Construction. At Balfour Beatty, Novak was a key resource in assessing and strengthening the company’s ability to scale knowledge and bring national consistency to strong, existing operating standards. Previously, her 20 year career as an Operations Executive with Hensel Phelps Construction Company gave her the expertise needed to build complex projects efficiently.

She is heavily involved in organizations that lead the way for technology advancement in the construction industry, and she is an advocate for women’s leadership. Her passion for advancing women in business occurs through organizations like iMasons, Women for Women International, The National Woman’s Party in Washington DC, Women in Government Relations (WGR), Women Construction Owners and Executives (WCOE), the World Trade Center (WTCI), Fortune Media Most Powerful Women, and Above Glass Ceilings LLC.

Lakisha Ann Woods, CAE is President & CEO of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS). Woods is responsible for leading the Institute's dedicated team of professionals, enhancing its value and visibility and growing relationships with its members, clients, public agencies and partners. She also leads efforts to expand the organization's programs and markets while growing and strengthening its membership base.

Prior to joining NIBS, she was the Sr. VP & Chief Marketing Officer at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) where she oversaw a 27-member team responsible for all marketing, revenue-generating programs including sponsorship sales and partnerships with major national companies.

Lakisha currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), as Secretary/Treasurer on the Board for the U.S. Green Building Council and has spoken at national and international industry events. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Maryland in College Park and lives with her husband and daughter in Howard County Maryland.



Jennifer Hitzke, jhitzke@nibs.org
Executive Assistant & Board Liaison
National Institute of Building Sciences

Innovative Solutions for the Built Environment

Established by the United States Congress, the Institute’s mission is to unite the entire building community in advancing building science and technology.

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