Jean Bjork is President & CEO of Bjork Construction Co. and a 2019 Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Star
Each year, WBENC presents 14 women business owners with the prestigious Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) Star Award. The WBE Star Award is the nation’s premier recognition for excellence among certified women-owned businesses, honoring female owners for their leadership skills, business success, and ability to serve as an inspiration to others.
Jean Bjork, a 2019 WBE Star and President & CEO of Bjork Construction Co., is no exception. She grew up in the family business learning the welding trade and how to run a business. In her family, there were no preconceived notions about what women and men can or can’t do.
Jean is “The Pioneer” because she continues to pave the way for women leaders in the male-dominated construction industry — and is most proud to do so. Today, Jean shares the business values that have driven her success, her proudest moment in business, and some sage advice for new or aspiring entrepreneurs.
Q&A with WBE Star, Jean Bjork
What values have led to and continue to support your business acumen?
“Safety is our companies’ number one value, as we want our employees and our vendors to go home to their families in the same condition that they come to work every day. Our motto is "Safety for Life." Not less important is to provide construction service in a professional manner which exceeds the expectations of our clients. We pride ourselves on the quality of our work throughout our company. We also believe in personal responsibility on our jobs, and the unwritten mantra of “no excuses.” Our values are: safety, integrity, responsiveness, respectfulness, quality, and resolve.”
What’s your proudest moment in business?
“Being a woman recognized by my peers in a male dominated industry. Construction traditionally has been male dominated, and today as for the last 40 years, the percentage of women who work in the construction industry has been approximately nine percent. That is changing and that has been my proudest moment, being a part of an industry that I love and being able to see other women, as well as my own daughter excel and thrive in the construction industry to be a leader in her own right.”
What advice do you have for a new entrepreneur?
“Be persistent and pursue your passion. You cannot do everything or be everything. You need to hire or do business with people that have the expertise that you don't possess, get references and do your homework. Know your worth, don’t sell yourself or your product short. Strive to be the best, and always believe that you can improve. Lead with equality and inclusiveness.”
About Bjork Construction Co.
Bjork Construction Company, Inc. is an A, B and C33 General Contractor with over 30 years’ experience in the serving Northern California. They have successfully built hundreds of projects, serving public and private, commercial and residential construction. As a General Contractor, Bjork Construction Company self-performs Carpentry, Concrete, and Painting. They build and renovate commercial projects, multifamily housing, hardscape building. Many of their clients are fortune 500 companies.