Jessica Bellman, Director of Strategic Development for DeAngelis Diamond
Jessica's experience includes 15 years in finance, construction and development, and healthcare. She developed passion for each of these sectors early on, and was fortunate enough to be able to later use all of her experience in one position: the Director of Strategic Development for DeAngelis Diamond.
As the Director of Strategic Development for DeAngelis Diamond, her focus is to enhance client relations and assist in project acquisitions in sixteen market sectors, including; aviation, education, commercial, multi-family, healthcare, senior living, industrial and manufacturing.
Jessica firmly believes that understanding the client's operational perspective and growth strategy, along with the corresponding challenges or benefits, enables you to provide a much stronger value and potential outcome.
You will often find Jessica speaking publicly on topics relating to competitive and sustainable strategies within development, architecture, engineering, and construction, and how any business can use bricks and mortar to grow and/or increase revenues. Having the right partners and transparent communication is a key.
Jessica's Piece of Advice
"This field is not for the faint of heart. It's incredibly hard work whether you are on site or a part of the extensive coordination behind the scenes. There can be big wins and big losses. The AEC world is a high-risk industry, and it can be cutthroat at times. This field, as with all prominent sectors, is male-driven. So, in many cases, as part of the "few", women will have to work harder for the same recognition as their male counterparts.
You have to get used to the fact that often your entire leadership team are men. If your organization is a strong and healthy one, these things shouldn't affect you; they should motivate you, instead. Be the rock star you know you can be, and give each week 110%. As the stress is inevitable, it's important to have a strong work-life balance and take time to do things you enjoy.
You will likely hear or experience a few things in your career that you, as a professional woman, may find offensive. Try to digest them, understand them, deal with them – and let them go. Surround yourself with the right people. Positive, respectful people, both affiliates and clients, and always remember your worth.
The numbers of women in these fields continue to grow because we are determined, strong, and provide a great value to this industry in thousands of ways. Most of us want to provide a positive impact with what we do for a living – you can find that in the building world.
Lastly, this industry is progressive and diverse, and it offers many employment position options for people of all educational backgrounds."