International Women’s Day—Find Your Seat At The Table

Interview: 2021 NAHB Chair Professional Women In Building


In honor of International Women’s Day BDX sat down with Karen Schroeder, Co-owner and Vice President of successful Michigan builder, Mayberry Homes. Karen is this year’s NAHB Professional Women In Building Council (PWB) chair. Karen was also honored to Chair the NAHB 55+ Council in 2019. We know that her personal story with PWB will inspire you and we hope it will encourage more women to join the building industry and take A Seat At The Table.

Karen's Story

Karen was visiting a friend in Washington D.C. and was invited to attend a few meetings at the Capital. She was given a list of the meetings in session and was told that they were board meetings so be sure to sit in one of the chairs along the wall. Karen decided to attend a Professional Women in Building meeting figuring she had something in common with them, but never expecting what would unfold in the meeting. When she arrived she did as she was told and sat along the wall. To her surprise, right before the meeting began someone on the board motioned for her to come and sit in a chair at the table and participate in the meeting. It was at that moment that Karen knew that she had found a place where she truly belonged and had “A Seat At The Table.” Fast-forward 7 years and Karen is the 2021 Chair for Professional Women In Building and it’s now her mission to make sure that everyone has a “Seat At The Table.” 

Karen’s mission for 2021 is to ensure that all of the women that are part of our industry know that we share a common bond. If you are a builder, a tradesperson, affiliate—whatever your role, you are part of the important work that we do as an industry. The organization is made up of women and men who support the important work of ensuring that American families have safe, affordable homes to raise their families and create memories. It’s meaningful work.

There are 4 guiding principles for this year.

1. Inclusion—Everyone Has A Seat At The Table

2. Mentoring—As an industry we are challenged to mentor the next generation of leaders.

3. Leadership—It’s not what we can do on our own, but what we can do together.

4. Diversity—When we empower everyone, the industry benefits and American families benefit.

Know someone that could benefit from joining Professional Women in Building? Share this article or click here to find your local HBA. If there is no PWB Council in your area, you can click here to join as a member at large.

Karen leaves us with closing thoughts on her success in the industry. “Find something you believe in and can excel at and people will believe in you.”


Interview: 2021 NAHB Chair Professional Women In Building

About the Author

Alaina Latiolais

Alaina Latiolais is currently the Marketing Manager and HBA Partnership Program Manager for Builder’s Digital Experience. She previously worked as a Digital Marketing Consultant for BDX working with builders of all sizes in the Austin, San Antonio and Corpus Christi markets. Finding her love for B2B marketing, she now helps educate home builders about marketing and technology and understanding the digital consumer. Alaina has over a decade of experience working with small, medium and large businesses on their marketing strategies, always with a strong focus on the latest technology and results. She has a practical approach that saddles between warm and daring, always challenging businesses to take the next step to adopt new technology and ideas.

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