We had the good fortune of connecting with Tonya Hicks and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tonya, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started my business to provide career opportunities to women and minorities in the electrical industry. Women and minorities have been systematically kept out of the higher paying trades including; electrical, mechanical, and plumbing. As an apprentice in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, I didn’t see black men being promoted to management positions with the companies I worked for. Of course, I didn’t see any other women at all. Only 2.9% percent of tradespeople are women. That’s not because women aren’t interested in working in the trades; nor does it mean women aren’t qualified or capable. It’s not a big enough effort to hire, promote, or retain women and minorities in skilled labor.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Power Solutions, Inc. an electrical, mechanical, and facility maintenance firm. Our purpose is to provide digital automation, energy, and sustainability solutions for the world’s most critical problems; energy, water, food, connectivity, and mobility.
What sets us apart is our specialized focus on renewable energy, sustainability, and smart city technology on a global scale.
I’m most excited about opening our office in Singapore. Singapore is one of the leading cities in smart city tech and sustainability. I’m looking forward to working there and learning from them to bring back ideas of what we can do in the U.S.
I got where I am today through hard work and determination. It was not easy; it’s very challenging to compete in this male dominated field.
I overcome the challenges with prayer and perseverance.
I’ve learned to not allow my lows to get me to low or my highs to get me too high! I stay focus, optimistic, and hungry!
I want the world to know that Power Solutions is what I do as a profession. I have gift to do this work and I do it with excellence. I also want the world to know that women, like myself, are making significant strides towards equality in the construction industry and the glass ceiling that exist today is coming down!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My best friend wouldn’t be expecting a lot because I don’t normally hang out or have “fun” the way people normally do. I would take her/him to Capital Grill to meet and network with some great people. I would also take them to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens; I love the beauty and creativity there. I love to cook. I would be entertaining mostly in my condo downtown. We would take walks in Centennial Park which is a few blocks from my condo. We would also squeeze in an Atlanta United and/or Atlanta Braves game; I love both teams! We would end the week with a tequila tasting at No Mas; my favorite place for margaritas and Mexican food!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my Shoutout to Carolyn Johnson-Williams. Carolyn is a Journeyman Electrician in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Local 613. Carolyn is my union sister and a mentor that helped me when I first relocated to Atlanta to work as an electrician. She is an exemplary black woman, electrician, and community leader. Carolyn represents the best of women in our trade as she advocates and promotes the advancement of women in construction. She is the inspiration behind my company Women Do Everything. Women have always done “everything”; we just never got the credit!