A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD By Margaret Workman
People always ask me, “How do you do it?” of course I say “Do what??” They say how do you succeed in a man’s world? I of course laugh and say I didn’t realize it was a man’s world, I look at it as a unisex World.
I know what they mean….how can a woman survive in a male dominated industry? This question is asked a lot in the contracting industry and the only answer I have is, “You do what you got to do! You don’t have to be a man to provide quality work to your clients. You don’t have to be a man to negotiate deals and price points. You don’t have to be a man to have attention to detail and top notch service.”
In fact, there are some instances where being a woman has been a plus. One is that I am open minded and really care about who I work with. I treat others how I want to be treated. Whether you are male or female. I don’t see myself as a woman in a man’s industry. I see myself as a opportunist finding my niche in a industry screaming for integrity, honesty and good ole southern charm, which by the way I have plenty of LOL. (Nothing against my Northern Friends though, love ya’ll).
I don’t ask someone to do what I haven’t done myself, I love organization, I have rekeyed locks, mowed lawns, removed debris INCLUDING removing fecal matter from toilets and flooring that dogs, cats, humans and God only knows what else has left behind, and yes for all those out there wondering and thinking this life is so glamorous….wait till you have dug out a bucket full of fecal matter and removed dead carcasses of animals and pets from under a home and in homes. Makes you want to wear a hazmat suit daily. And of course don’t forget I am really good at telling people what to do (LOL ,my husband would agree with this one, Oh, wait, and my kids too!)
One of many things God has blessed me with is a sense of discernment, being able to read people and relate on some level. I have found that Respect is earned. Trust is earned. It’s a privilege not a right. It goes both ways. I look at everyone who works with my husband and me as a partner. We can only succeed with everything being mutually beneficial for everyone. Something I think eventually most of the Nationals and Regional’s will soon figure out. “You do get what you pay for in the end.”
My husband and I complement each other in our personalities. He is short and to the point, I am sweet and to the point. I make great SWEET TEA and he makes great Philly Cheese Steaks. I get more accomplished with people than he can, due to the fact “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Scott can supervise and instruct the crews when needed and he is great at performing the work to excellent standards. This is probably due to him having been in professional scouting for 20 years. He was the CEO of the Rio Grande Council in Harlingen TX. His time working with the Boy Scouts of America helped him learn many new skills. Our business is a family business. Yes I am a woman, and I am the owner of this company. But I am just one part of a team of excellent contractors who take pride in what they do. We all work hard to be successful. We are the American Family! We have seen hard times, we have seen jobs come and go and we have always stuck together and worked through it. Life is not easy. It’s an adventure worth having.
I’ve learned I can be one of the boys, while still being a girl. Working with men has been easy for me than most as I still see myself as a Tomboy, I played basketball with the guys and played football with the guys. In fact growing up those guys were some of my best friends. I heard how they talked, what they like, what they need and I grew to understand more about the psyche of men. If you think “What Women Think” is crazy, wait till you hear “What Men Think” ladies….LOL.
I love being one of a kind and working in an industry that is just now getting the attention it needs from Nationals, Regional’s and The Government. We have a long way to go to educate our fellow contractors, the public, our Government and local authorities on how this industry works. Even I have a lot to learn, I learn everyday on the job! When you start thinking you know it all, that’s when you get bypassed by everyone else.
That is one of my goals as a Female General Contractor in the Property Preservation/Capital Repairs and remodeling of existing homes industry, to help make others aware of our position as contractors and how important what we do is to the economy and to the future homeowners of America. We are on the front lines. Men and Women uniting to build our businesses and to give our industry a reason to respect , support and acknowledge the level of service we provide. There are always bad and unethical contractors in the mix as with any industry. But I choose to believe there are more good than bad and we choose to be ethical, honest and continue to keep our integrity intact.
Now if we can just increase the pay in our industry we can all make a decent living while providing a much needed service. But that’s another problem for another day. I love being a Woman in a Predominantly Male Industry. It is an adventure everyday!
Workman Home Repairs, Inc
“Capital Repairs, Inspections, and Property Preservation”