Management • 42 minutes

Shattering Stereotypes: How Female Business Owners Are Disrupting the Trades

April 16, 2024

Episode Overview

Follow along closely: Jackie Sorensen is the sole owner of Thorson Heating. She succeeded her father as president of the company. He still works there. Sorenson’s husband is also an employee.

More than once when a phone caller has said, “Say hello to your old man,” she’s had to ask them to clarify which one.

Sorensen’s road to the top spot was rocky.   

She was the company’s most valuable employee and used that fact to her advantage.

“You should never have a person have too much control in the company because they can hold you hostage,” Sorensen says. 

That was exactly the negotiating point she used to persuade her dad to let her take the reins.

Sorensen’s story is role-model material for all women trying to break into a male-dominated world, and for all children in family businesses who see the need for change to keep the business thriving and growing. 

“It takes [a need for] appreciation and validation to keep you searching and keeps you always striving for [something] better,” she says. 

The Thorson Heating team is delivering exceptional service to customers in Sioux Falls. Along with keeping the company moving forward, Sorensen is passionate about helping make the trades more accessible to women.

She advises: “You need to have other like-minded individuals in other business owners, not just other female friends, but other successful females in your life.”

Getting to the ownership level is tough, she notes, but being able to survive the challenges at the top is also a reality.

“You can find that other women will be jealous of you and try to drag you down,” Sorensen says. “You have to have other high-minded people around you that are on your side.”

Jackie Sorensen recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel on the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Sorensen’s thoughts on:

  • [4:28]: How to work with your spouse

  • [10:56]: Why Sorensen decided to buy her family business

  • [20:33]: Navigating the workplace after giving birth 

  • [27:06]: How Sorensen makes the trades more attractive for young women

  • [38:27]: Sorensen’s advice for other female business owners

To hear more stories from the trades, subscribe to Toolbox for the Trades on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, or anywhere you get podcasts.

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About the Show

Toolbox for the Trades is a podcast where top service professionals share the tips, tricks, and tactics they use to succeed in their industry. Hosted by Jackie Aubel, this podcast is brought to you by ServiceTitan—the leading home and commercial field service software.

Episodes will feature stories and strategies to help contractors grow and scale their service business.

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