Women haven’t always had an easy time getting professional positions, but a woman in Kent, Ohio is proving that these days being a woman doesn’t necessarily mean being disadvantaged. TV2’s Melinda Stephan has the story.
These days it’s not strange to see women in the business world, but some might still think a construction company is an unlikely place to find a female owner.
Julie Brandle, owner of Metis Construction in Kent, OH, recently spoke at a local breakfast honoring women in business: “You work in construction? Are you crazy? You’re a girl! I hear that all the time.”
But having worked at another construction firm for 12 years before starting Metis, Brandle really knows her stuff. Though now she’s primarily responsible for marketing and advertising, Brandle is steeped in every part of the construction process, and says she hasn’t found too many clients that doubt her skills.
One sure sign of a successful business is a strong and happy customer base. All over Kent, you’ll find Brandle’s satisfied customers: Gwen Rosenberg of Popped!, Michelle Hartman of the Burbick Companies, and Michael Awad of local restaurant Laziza.
Metis built Laziza, and Awad says the construction company succeeds in keeping its customers happy with its attention to detail, dedication and fair prices. Awad has also trusted Metis to work on his other restaurants, and even his home.
“Oh my god, I love ‘em. Anything at all that I have done since I’ve met the Metis organization has been tremendous,” says Awad. “I believe in them – they do great work, they do great follow-up.”
Brandle is delighted with the success her business has achieved, and even attributes some of Metis’ growth to being the only local female-run construction business. Says Brandle of females in the construction business:
“Those girls are never sitting in Union Hall. They are out on every single job making tons of money. Because they get called on, minorities and women first, and that’s who goes on the projects, especially for like, state money. And because they have to have a certain percentage of minority or women, on their projects, it’s a very smart move to get into construction like that if you want to make a lot of money,” says Brandle.
Though Brandle agrees that it’s much easier than it used to be for women to get ahead in the business world, she doesn’t think females running businesses in traditionally male-dominated fields is that rare of a phenomenon anymore.
“Maybe I’m the rose-colored glasses kind of person,” says Brandle, “but I think if you go through the education and you work hard and you prove yourself in internships or maybe your initial career path employment opportunities, I would think your ceiling is endless in terms of what your opportunities are. But when I was a kid, no one was saying, ‘oh, you could go into construction.'”