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March 3-7, 2026

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A Mother’s Guide to Successfully Navigating Work and Family in the Construction Industry



Alicia’s story begins in the wake of college graduation, when two separate career paths—hers in medical device engineering and her husbands in construction—intertwined. "My husband was contemplating starting his own company. With my job providing financial backing, we decided he would start his own construction company," she shares. This marked the beginning of their joint venture, Brex Enterprises, which she managed financially while continuing her engineering career. 

Five years later, with twins and a third child on the way, she committed full-time to Brex Enterprises. "Since 2017, we've grown our company 10 times together," she proudly states, highlighting not just business growth but the blossoming of their family and her transition into consulting, aiming to assist other construction business owners become more successful. 


Alicia and her husband have been “a dynamic duo” at Brex Enterprises since 2017, with him focusing on what they do and her on how. “We have our own lanes,” she explains, highlighting their distinct roles. Her strength lies in financials and data, while he excels in bidding jobs and generating big ideas. This division of labor forms the foundation of their successful partnership.

Transitioning from separate careers to working together full-time marked a turning point, shifting from tension-filled evenings to collaborative goal-setting days. Alicia advocates for cohesion over balance, acknowledging the fluidity between business and family priorities. “Our kids keep us in check,” she notes, emphasizing the importance of regular discussions about priorities and ensuring their marriage thrives. Crediting a strong support system back home, they navigate the complexities of work and family life with grace. 

Her collaborative partnership with her husband in managing Brex Enterprises exemplifies effective teamwork and mutual respect. It's a testament to how professional and personal lives can intertwine to create a balanced, fulfilling existence, even amidst the challenges of running a business and raising a family.

“I like to say we strive for work-life cohesion – because there is no 50/50 balance for us. There are times where the business is top priority and times where family is the priority.”


Discussing the unique contributions of women in the construction industry, Alicia highlights the advantages of diversity and the exceptional learning curve and motivation she's observed among female crew members. 

Despite not having a degree directly related to her current role, she is a staunch advocate for following one's passion, whether it involves pursuing higher education or not. "You don't have to have a degree to build a great fulfilling life," she emphasizes, stressing the importance of passion over traditional educational paths. She has seen first-hand how the trades can provide women a lifelong career with no higher education debt. “We have kids come out of school who come directly into our company with no experience. We’ve had several of those kids far surpass what I was making in my engineering job, easily.”

Mentorship emerges as a cornerstone of Alicia’s career trajectory, highlighting the value of support networks and the reciprocal nature of mentoring relationships. This aspect of her story resonates with the broader need for guidance, encouragement, and community within professional spheres, particularly in industries where women are underrepresented. Having sought mentors through various organizations, she underscores the value of having a support network and the fulfillment that comes from mentoring others. "The best career advice I received was to find a mentor and build a community of support," she reflects.

As a mother of five, she shares advice on achieving work-life balance, advocating for the importance of recognizing one's capacity and the ability to delegate. "Having it all doesn’t mean doing it all," she advises, emphasizing the significance of aligning one's personal goals with their professional life.


Reflecting on her experiences during pregnancy and as a new mom in the construction industry, Alicia advocates for a more accommodating environment for future mothers, emphasizing the importance of communication between women, their doctors and employers to ensure a safe working environment.

Alicia’s involvement in organizations aimed at improving the industry and her company's efforts to support families and foster gender diversity highlight her commitment to making a positive impact. "We need to develop any employee more," she says, advocating for policies that make workers, especially women, feel safe, productive, and heard. She is a part of two organizations working to better the industry – Women’s Energy Network and Crew Collaborative.

Alicia’s experiences with her family led her to support working parents within her company, spotlighting the necessity for inclusive policies and a supportive work environment. Through initiatives like paternity leave and "quality days," Brex Enterprises is going above and beyond to accommodate the needs of families, setting a precedent for other companies in the industry.

Alicia continues to support policies and environments for mothers and future mothers in construction, advocating for a more inclusive and accommodating industry. “Being pregnant is not a disability,” she states.


As a leader, Alicia emphasizes the importance of developing employees and fostering an environment where everyone feels valued, heard, and motivated to contribute. Her experience leading a predominantly male crew to success, earning their respect through mutual understanding and collaboration, offers a powerful example for women in leadership positions.

The standing ovation she received from her mostly male crew at CONEXPO CON/AGG 2022 symbolizes respect earned through leadership grounded in mutual respect and continuous learning. Her advice to women in the industry to overcome self-imposed barriers reflects a universal message of empowerment and self-belief.

Looking ahead, she envisions a construction industry where gender diversity is not just encouraged but embraced, with more young women considering and pursuing careers in construction. Through early engagement and the provision of role models, she hopes to dismantle the stereotypes and barriers that have historically kept women on the periphery of this field. 

“The respect I get in my career is directly proportional to the amount I give. Early in my career I was too afraid of not being respected because I didn’t know everything about construction,” she says. “As long as I can get out of my own way, the skies the limit.” 


As a mother to two daughters – nine and four -- I want them to know they can do whatever they want. I want them to know the skies the limit in construction and the opportunities are only going to increase.

Alicia Brentzel

President/Owner, Brex Enterprises

Alicia’s journey is both inspiring and reflective of the broader shifts in industry. Her transition from supporting her husband's entrepreneurial ambitions to playing a pivotal role in the business's exponential growth illustrates the dynamic contributions women can make in construction. Her story underscores the potential for women to not only participate but lead and innovate within the sector.

Alicia envisions the construction industry of the future as a place where women are not just participants but leaders. "By showcasing role models and encouraging young girls early on, we can break down the barriers and stereotypes that have historically kept women from considering careers in construction," she shares. 

Over the years, Alicia has seen more interest at a younger age from female students in tech school. “One of our best hires last year was one of them!”

Her own story, punctuated with challenges, triumphs and relentless determination, reflects the evolving landscape of the construction industry. Through vision and dedication, Alicia not only exemplifies the potential for women in construction but also paves the way for future generations to build their own paths to success.

“As a mother to two daughters – nine and four -- I want them to know they can do whatever they want. I want them to know the skies the limit in construction and the opportunities are only going to increase.” 

Connect with Alicia on LinkedIn.

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Photos courtesy of Alicia Brentzel

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