CEO Marjorie Perry's Path to Success in Male-Dominated Industry

Steve Adubato talks with Marjorie Perry, President & CEO of MZM Construction and Management, about her experience being a female in a male-dominated industry and how she has achieved success. Perry also explains how business opportunities for women have evolved and her hopes for the future of business in New Jersey.

#206 3/24/18






"We are pleased to be joined by our good friend Marjorie Perry, President and CEO of MZM Construction & Management. Also, let me disclose, you are our trustee of the Caucus Educational Corporation, our production company. I am. And I just love it. Been there five years. Six years actually. About six years. Yes you have. Can I disclose something else? Yes. Our friends over at the NJBIZ, which is a business publication that comes out every week, they select the 50 best women in business, a, Marjorie was selected with that group, and take a look at the website to find out the others, but you were also receiving the Lifetime Legacy Award? I am. What does that mean? You know, I was a little bit taken back by it at first. I said, "Oh my goodness, what does that mean?" Because my peers selected me without me knowing. That's right. That's a real big day, how you're showing up in the state, how you're showing up in the country, that you don't even know you're being nominated for such an award. I'm so honored, I don't know what to do, I mean, you know I'm in the room with the Linda Bowdens of the w... or of Sally Glicks and... Of PNC? Yeah, right. ...all these other powerful, powerful women to receive this award. But Marjorie, you and I, we've been friends for a long time, we've talked about women... by the way, this is also a part of our Women In Leadership series, check out our website, a whole range of very talented and important women who happen to be in leadership positions, or are leaders who happen to be women, to put it that way. You've been in the construction industry for a couple of years? Yeah, 27. Biggest lesson you've learned about leadership is? Get out of the way when I don't know what I'm doing. What do you mean? You know, when... you know, I think we all start out starry-eyed on how we're gonna take over the world and we're going to impact the world just on our know-how. Hmm. And what my business has taught me over the 27 years which we've talked about is that I didn't know how to lead necessarily in a powerful way, lead... What were you doing? You can start a business... I was managing, there's a big difference between a manager... Biggest difference is? Managing is like "get the task done" "get the job done" - leading is understanding what's coming, what's not coming, how they anticipate and stay in big picture mode as much as possible..."