Barrie Bender: Expanding the Coastline Customer Network
Coastline Equipment is spending Women’s History Month lifting up some of the amazing women in our company. We talked to Barrie Bender, our SoCal Business Development Rep, about her history at Coastline and her perspective as a woman in a majority-male field. Check out her interview below.
1. Please describe your job and tell us a bit about what you do for Coastline and your history in the construction industry.
My job title is Southern California Business Developer for Coastline Equipment. Essentially, I nurture existing major accounts and continue to grow new business with new customers. I stared in the accounting department at Lougee-Michael, before the company’s name was changed to Coastline. I was straight out of college. As a people person, I was led to join the Rental Department in Oxnard and became a Rental Developer. After several years I got married and moved to New York and was Harrison Ford’s Executive assistant for 15 years. Buck Baird knew I was moving back to Southern California and gave me an opportunity I could not resist. I am thrilled to be back at Coastline.
2. What is your favorite thing about working in this field?
I have the opportunity on a daily basis to meet new potential customers, which in turn generates new opportunities for Coastline.
3. In your opinion, why is it important for women to get involved and become leaders in the construction industry?
I feel women are more detailed oriented and have a tendency to help people more. It’s my nature to be a giver. Men often respond better to a woman, and I have had success arranging big meetings with the key people in related companies.
4. What misconceptions do you think some women hold about joining the construction industry? What would you say to those who are skeptical of getting into this male-dominated field?
I feel the biggest misconception is that men won’t respond to a woman in this industry. I find it to be just the opposite.
5. Several networking associations exist for women in this industry, such as the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Women Building Change. Have you heard of or are you a part of any such organizations?
Yes, I was getting involved with NAWIC prior to COVID. Unfortunately, due to COVID everything came to a halt. I look forward to becoming a member of NAWIC and having face to face meetings with them.
We are so glad to have Barrie on our team. To learn more about networking associations for women in construction, visit NAWIC’s website at https://bit.ly/3elHO1y or Women Building Change at https://bit.ly/3qx7F9g.