Maria Castanon: Going the Extra Mile in a Male-Dominated Industry

Maria Castanon had worked for a commercial cleaner at one of the largest aerospace complexes in Dallas, Texas, for 14 years. She held various positions, including as a frontline custodial technician, utility worker, restroom cleaner, and team lead. A little over two years ago, Servicon won the contract at the site, and Maria was given the option to stay on working for Servicon and be promoted to supervisor. She accepted the offer, and she and Servicon are both glad she did.

“My favorite part of my job is the contact I have with people, including the customers, coworkers, and building occupants,” says Maria. “I love working and communicating with them.”

According to Maria, her work can be demanding. “It is challenging to meet customer expectations to ensure we keep the account,” she says. “Our site includes an industrial area, offices, and a showroom. We have VIPs visiting every week or every other week. We must keep the industrial plant as spotless as a commercial business, which is not always easy.”

Yet Maria manages to make it look effortless. “Maria has very high standards and is always willing to go the extra mile,” says Danilo Esquivel, a Servicon consultant who worked for the company for 19 years. He has been hired to expand Servicon’s presence in Texas and works with Maria part-time. “The people love her. There hasn’t been a single complaint about the cleaning at the facility in the more than two years she’s been the supervisor.”

Facing a Male-Dominated Industry

While many women work as custodial technicians on the frontline, when it comes to management, the cleaning industry has been historically male-dominated. Maria admits being a woman can sometimes pose a challenge, but one she willingly accepts. “I think my ability to manage my staff, knowing how to conduct business, and my ability to communicate well, helps a lot in my position as a supervisor,” she says.

Maria also believes Servicon’s efforts to place women in leadership roles help raise the status of women in the industry. “Servicon is welcoming more and more women into management positions and is looking for female leaders,” she says. “This is a good thing; more women should take advantage of this opportunity.” In fact, Danilo says Servicon is expanding in the Texas area and will soon be contracted to oversee three sites that will feature women in top positions.

Care and Innovation

While Maria likes many things about her employer, two stand out. “I really like the way Servicon treats people and how it is always open to new and better ways of doing things,” she says. “The company is very open to new options, new technologies, and new ideas.”

Maria likes the company so much that she would—and has—recommended Servicon to others, including Myrna Dolmo. “I worked with Myrna before; I know the kind of work she likes and that she is very detail-oriented,” Maria says. “I recommended the company to her and told her to apply. She did, and she got the job. Now we work together.”

Looking Toward the Future

Maria says that she’s excited to see how Servicon continues to grow and develop. “The more Servicon expands, and our people at different locations and states get to know one another, the more opportunities there are for career growth. I’m happy that Servicon is focused on maintaining its culture and community across the country and feel proud to be a part of the team.”

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