February 15, 2018, Minneapolis, Minnesota:
I’ve always been committed to hiring women and providing opportunities for advancement for all of our employees. Ultimately, we always look for the best person for the job, and whether that person is man or woman has no bearing on my hiring decisions—or their pay. And that includes women in the trades.
During World War II (1940 – 1945). the percentage of women working in the U.S. increased from 27 percent to 37 percent. When the men returned from the war, many women stayed home to raise their families, took support roles, nursing or teaching jobs, or continued with factory work.
In 1992, when Brothers Fire & Security was founded, only two percent of skilled workers were women. Today, while there are 74.6 million women working in the United States, close to 10 million women own businesses, and only 4 percent of the workforce representing women in the trades. It can be very challenging for the women who work in trades because of the traditionally male roles and culture. Today’s tradeswomen include pipe fitters, plumbers, electricians, ironworkers, carpenters and many other union-backed workers and there are more opportunities on the rise.
WELCOME KIM BRINKMAN TO THE TEAM
I’m excited announce the hiring of Kim Brinkman as our new Sprinkler Division Service Sales team member. Kim is a seasoned tradeswoman veteran and pioneer who has blazed a trail for tradeswomen throughout her 20-year career as a journeyman and advocate for women in the trades. She brings a wealth of field knowledge about sprinkler systems and project deliverables. I recently hired Kim to bring her expertise about sprinkler systems and service to our company and to our clients. Kim is only the third journeywoman in the 118-year history of the 417 Minneapolis/St. Paul AFL-CIO’. Now that’s a pioneer!
As a certified Journeyman Sprinkler Fitter, Kim has worked on many diverse and challenging projects including:
- Tesla Gigafactory
- The Vikings Stadium
- Mall of America
- The Minnesota State Capital Renovation Project
- University of Minnesota
- General Mills World Headquarters
- Medtronic World Headquarters
- TCF Bank Stadium
- Children’s Hospital and many more
Kim was looking for a way to transition her experience as a tradeswomen from the field in new ways that could help her serve even more clients. “Stephen has opened an important door for me at Brothers Fire and Security,” says Kim. “He supports me and the advancement of tradeswomen in many areas. I’m excited to bring more clients the concept of bundling fire and security services. You’d be surprised at how many companies who don’t realize that they are over spending by having too many vendors. It’s smart business and a hot market, because no one is providing integrated and bundled services like Brothers Fire & Security.”
Kim sees new opportunities to help even more tradeswomen to make more progress in their careers. “I see my new position as the best path to finish my career,” she says. “Things are changing, and the next generation of women Journeyman Sprinkler Fitters in Minnesota need more opportunities to work for great companies, like Brothers Fire & Security.”
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT FROM OTHER WOMEN WHO WORK AT BFS
We currently have over 10 women working for Brothers Fire & Security in a variety of roles. Two of the women who I am proud to have on my team are Cindy Ladyka and Margaret Jacques.
Cindy Ladyka is our office manager and safety director. She has been with us for six years and she’s learned some valuable lessons along the way. “For women to succeed in a man’s world, we need to be confident and know what we’re talking about,” she says. “If a business is going to hire women they need to stand behind us and support us equally.”
Margaret Jacques is one of our top life safety sales representative and she’s worked as a sales professional in the trades for over 30 years. With four years now at Brothers Fire and Security, Margaret has found that men might be skeptical when a woman comes on the site.
“But a woman can have a leading edge because she knows how to read people and use her intuition to her advantage in any situation,” says Margaret. “Many employers soon realize that putting a woman in the field is the best hiring decision they’ve made in a long time. We go the distance, are flexible, and get the job done.”
Cindy and Margaret both encourage Kim to bring her knowledge about the fire sprinkler business to her management and sales position. Most importantly, she should be herself, and remember that she is a part of a professional team who have great goals and objectives for our clients.
Welcome to the team Kim!
ABOUT BROTHERS FIRE & SECURITY
As one of the premier providers of fire and security solutions in the Upper Midwest, Brothers Fire & Security strives to build long-term, value-added relationships. We work with business owners and property management companies, as well as all types of public institutions to solve fire and security needs. By taking advantage of our integrated bundled services, many of our clients find that they can save 25-30% on their safety services, annual inspections and more. From a single location to franchises throughout the region and the country, our integrated approach saves our clients valuable time, money and stress. We provide fire protection systems, security systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, 24-7 monitoring, fire extinguishers, card access and kitchen hoods.