Q&A with Branch Managers Kristy Thompson & Kenya Brown
In a traditionally male-dominated field, we’ve seen firsthand how women are taking unprecedented steps to positively impact pest control. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re telling this narrative through the eyes of Kristy Thompson and Kenya Brown, both proud mothers with 24 years of combined experience at Terminix.
As professionals and branch managers, they have a knack for reversing stigmas and say the future is brighter than ever for women in the industry. Here’s our conversation:
Q: Tell us what drew you into pest control?
Kristy: “After years in restaurant management, I found that the hours are not accommodating (at all) to mothers. I pivoted to pest control because I saw potential to transfer my passion for customer service to a flexible, full-time schedule.”
Kenya: “At the time, I had no interest in pest control, just a job that provided financial stability. I knew my outgoing personality would be an asset, and felt empowered not only as a minority, but as a woman who could lead by example.”
Q: How has the outlook for women in the pest management industry changed over the years?
Kristy: “From the beginning, I appreciate that Terminix hired me based on my skills, not my gender. Today, I’d say the sky’s the limit, and it doesn’t hurt showing-up the guys from time to time!”
Kenya: “Over the past 15 years, I’d say the outlook has transformed because of fearless women. I’ve been turned down by a customer because of my gender, but have used that to fuel my fire and do great work.”
Q: What are some misconceptions you’ve encountered?
Kristy & Kenya: “Not all women scream when they see a spider!”
Q: What advice would you give to women pursuing a career in pest control?
Kristy: “Go for it. Never limit yourself because you’ll find that women are valued in this industry. In many cases, customers are more comfortable with women whether you’re a front-of-line employee or in management.
Kenya: “Don’t be afraid. As a woman, invest yourself in a competitive, friendly way. Study other successful leaders, work hard and watch your advancement bloom.”