Director of engineering services, REMS and Government Solutions Group, Colliers International Virginia, Richmond
There are male-dominated industries, and then there’s Jessica Butterworth’s office, where she is in charge of 145 engineering workers for Colliers’ Real Estate Management Services (REMS). Every last one is male.
“It’s very different to be a female lead of engineering,” Butterworth says, in a gentle understatement. Her job entails overseeing 750,000 square feet of Class A office space leased by federal agencies in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as scheduling, maintenance, code compliance, billing and seeking new business.
“No two days are alike,” says Butterworth, who started her career at Colliers in 2007 as an office manager. She quickly made her way up the corporate ladder in property management and building services, and last year, she was named a partner.
She credits her rise to the support she received from Colliers’ leadership — assistance that she passes along now that she is a boss. “Jessica always puts her team first,” says Chief Engineer Cyril Connaughton. “She makes everyone feel appreciated and valued.”
Butterworth admits that she can be “a bit of a workaholic,” but she recognizes the importance of getting work-life balance right, too. In her down time, that often means providing taxi service for her two sons and volunteering with their Boy Scouts troop.
To women who hope to emulate her success, she says, “Don’t be afraid to go into a line of business that’s predominantly men.”