From corporate to construction, owner of Australian-based manufacturing business North Queensland Glass and Glazing Meiling Elson has proved gender is not the obstacle blocking entrepreneurs and business owners from success in the building industry.

Beginning her career in the commerce chambers, her decision to switch career paths led her to build resilience she never needed before to gain respect from her male associates. The industry being one that is male-dominated with 72.5 per cent of all workers identifying as men. Studying the industry meticulously, from decoding engineering reports to ventilation requirements, Elson says that, “The only way to understand this industry is to be a part of every aspect of the trade  —physically I had to get my hands dirty, whereas digitally I let the algorithms do the work for me.”

“When our factory guys are falling behind, I get out there in the factory and help them. When a truck is delayed, I stay back and help load our truck. I like to lead from the front and I am not willing to let someone do anything that I am not willing to do myself!”

Striving to be proactive, rather than reactive, Elson put her trust into e-commerce and online conversions. Only needing to generate one sale per day to recuperate investment, it was the most cost-efficient way for their business to adapt with the changing digital landscape. Leading digital marketers Localsearch, who work with 26,000 local businesses across the nation, gave her the tools to secure market leadership position in the North Queensland region in the midst of a global pandemic.

Reminding herself to never stop learning, Elson says, “There is no doubt that I make mistakes, but I will study the shit out of them to learn and prevent them from ever happening again.”

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