with Carolyn Lightfoot
What better way to celebrate Women in Construction Week than to have construction legend Carolyn Lightfoot join the Quit Getting Screwed Podcast to have a chat about how far construction has come and where it may be heading. Carolyn of Cherokey Fire Protection jumped into the construction world back in 1981 and has been leaving a footprint in the industry ever since.
Carolyn explains that when she first started her business, she lived in a time when you had to be creative with your craft. In an effort to shake things up, Carolyn and her husband began installing plastic fire sprinklers into local apartment buildings while the competition was still focused on steel. This cutting-edge idea resulted in a lot of success for Cherokey Fire Protection, and they continue to be leaders in their industry to date.
Thinking back to 40 years ago, Carolyn remembers a time when there were not many women in construction and how difficult it was to be taken seriously in a male-dominated industry. “If I went to a jobsite, the guys would stand around and look at the ground and not talk…it was total silence” Carolyn recalls. This is a lot different from today where women are encouraged to work in the trades and even celebrated for doing so. Carolyn talks about how she can appreciate the progression of “good ole boy” networking associations and how they have started to incorporate women-run organizations and sub-committees within them. For her, this is a huge indicator in showing the influence that women have made in the construction industry.
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Karalynn took a moment to dive into work-life balance with Carolyn to get some insight into how she and her husband were able to maintain a healthy relationship while also conducting business together. Carolyn’s strategy proved to be a good one considering the one disagreement the couple had over the course of their 38-year marriage. Merging business and marriage can be a difficult task and this power couple seemed to have found the secrets to making it happen.
Carolyn’s background didn’t start in construction, as she spent some time in real estate, technology, and customer service. She goes into some of her favorite achievements at Cherokey Fire Protection which consisted of working on buildings like 2727 Kirby and The Sophie which are both very prominent high rises here in Houston, TX.
If you are a woman planning to enter the construction industry or currently in it, listen in as Carolyn has a lot of advice. She also touches on the importance of negotiating jobs, controlling your company, and being prepared for unexpected issues. With so many associations and groups focused on the advancement of women in construction, Carolyn emphasizes the importance of taking advantage of these opportunities to learn and grow.
This episode of the Quit Getting Screwed podcast is packed with great advice on navigating the construction industry and you will want to hear all about it. With Carolyn operating a successful business for decades, she is the perfect person to gain knowledge from. If you would like to learn more about the Cherokey Fire Protection business, you can visit their website. For more from Karalynn, follow The Cromeens Law Firm on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. You can also purchase the book that started it all, Quit Getting Screwed, on Amazon.
This article is intended as a general educational overview of the subject matter and is not intended to be a comprehensive survey of recent jurisprudence, nor a substitute for legal advice for a specific legal matter. If you have a legal issue, consult an attorney.