How a female entrepreneur gained Traction in a male-dominated industry
Tiera Covington, EO Hawaii, is the founder and president of Integrated Facility Services Hawaii (IFSH). She was recently recognized as an honoree in Pacific Business News’ 2021 Women Who Mean Business and named Pacific Edge’s 2021 Businesswoman of the Year. Tiera’s unique story spans a full career in the Air Force to the corporate world to entrepreneurship. We asked Tiera about her inspiring entrepreneurial journey. Here’s what she shared:
Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey.
I was raised by my single mother in Honolulu, Hawaii. I enlisted in the Hawaii Air National Guard right after graduating high school and served for 20 years as a Cyber Transport Systems Technician.
In 2001, while serving in the Hawaii Air National Guard, I started working for ABM Onsite Services as the Administrative Assistant. I worked my way up through the company as the Bookkeeper, Office Manager, Project Manager, Janitorial Manager and Hawaii Branch Manager. Ultimately, I was responsible for the overall janitorial and engineering operations, managing over 300 employees.
What was the pivotal moment when you knew you had to start your own business?
I worked at my previous company for 16 years before I decided to leave. For over a year, I faced harassment and discrimination. I endured this treatment because, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, I was determined to have a voice for not only myself but also for others.