Gender, politics and the question on galvanized trim used on the exterior are this month's topics

March 2001

More girl talk

Dear Sarah,

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I just now read the March edition of your magazine. I had to write to tell you that I truly appreciated your Up Front "Women's Work" story.

I am the baby daughter in a family with sons, and have worked with my father for the last 14 years. I am currently his vice president. I am also the only one of my siblings involved with Norton Industries. Much too often during meetings with our suppliers or customers, my father is asked if he has any sons to pass this business to. Even at extended-family events when my father is questioned about how business is, the eyes of the person asking this question go to my brother, and he is asked when he's taking over. This has never bothered me; I understand why someone would think a son is more likely to take over a family business, and historically this is the norm.

We all should know that in today's world, talent and dedication are the determining factors, not gender. My father's response to this line of questions is always the same. He tells people that the only determining factor in choosing a successor was to let his children choose the business. When he realized my abilities were capable of this, the decision made itself and he never thought about if it were to be a daughter or a son. He does not know how much I appreciate his response.

I do not feel that the "man's world" exists today. I have to chuckle every time I realize anyone is surprised to see a woman successful in running a business. It makes me wonder where they have been.


Mary Pat "Tricia" Norton

Vice President, Norton Industries Inc.

Lakewood, Ohio

Trim the facts

I think it's great that you do articles on contractors. But someone from your technical department should at least check it out before you print it.

Sometimes from the contractor to the writer, there is some confusion. Even if that is not the case, what is printed should not give out information that is not correct.

In your June issue on page 23 in the top picture, the quote says, "All metal must be galvanized," on a picture of an exterior column, where only trim installed is being shown. The trim manufacturers in this country do not allow galvanized trim on the exterior. They all say you must use pure zinc if you are going to use metal.


Bill Rice

President, Commercial Plastering Inc.

Bradenton, Fla.

Author Phil Bender responds:

According to The Portland Cement Plaster (Stucco) Manual, published by the Portland Cement Association under the heading Accessories, page 7, "A variety of lathing accessories are used with metal plaster bases to provide a finished edge to a plastered surface to provide for stress relief, or to reinforce corners. Accessories are manufactured from zinc alloy, galvanized steel, anodized aluminum and PVC. Requirements for accessories are given in ASTM C 1063. Consideration of the exposure and climatic conditions of the application must be taken into consideration when selecting accessory material."

Also I have a brochure from AMICO, which states on the last page, "It is recommended that only zinc alloy accessories be used for all exterior exposures."

Galvanized accessories have been accepted by the Southern Standard Building Code for years. There are certain locations where zinc is the better choice, often local building codes reflect this. In this particular case local code allows galvanized trim. It was my judgment call that the amount of weather exposure in this local did not warrant the expense of using zinc alloy trim.

Hope this answers your questions.