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How Female Franchisees from Men In Kilts Shine in a Male-Dominated Industry

Don’t let the company name fool you — Men In Kilts has some all-star women on staff who are critical to the brand’s success.

By Katie Porter1851 Franchise Contributor
SPONSOREDUpdated 5:17PM 04/29/22

The home-services industry is full of primarily male-dominated businesses, but Men In Kilts is trying to change that. The 48-territory exterior cleaning franchise has a number of women in both corporate positions and serving as franchise owners. These powerful females have helped shape and grow the brand, which is part of multi-brand home-services franchisor Threshold Brands, into what it is today.

Women franchisees with Men In Kilts operations have unique positions and opportunities to break the mold for what is typical in the home-service business. The services they offer — window, gutter cleaning, power and pressure washing — are made up of only 8% women-held positions, according to Zippia

But running a company is a dynamic and rewarding role that any motivated, business-minded person can do, and these women prove that. They are reframing gender roles, shattering glass ceilings and furthering Men In Kilts’ advancement as a franchise. 

Judy Briggs - Boston, MA Franchisee

Briggs had prior experience owning a franchise in a male-dominated industry, when a former colleague approached her about ownership. She thought about it for a while and opened her Boston location in April 2013. 

“There’s nothing I can’t do. I don’t care what industry it’s in — I’ll always be a professional about it,” Briggs said of being a female in the home-service business. 

She said Men In Kilts has a great team of women both at the franchisee and corporate level who she admires. “They are awesome. I love working with the females at the corporate level because I know they’re strong, empowered women,” Briggs said. “They’re not afraid of the challenges they’re faced with. It’s a great brand and a great culture.”

Briggs is excited for the future, to carve her name in history as a seven-figure earner for the franchise. “I’d like to be at a million dollars. We are fully staffed now, which I’m very grateful for, so 2022 is gonna be a great year for us. I see Men In Kilts being a household brand name.” 

Alison Lair - Boston, MA Franchisee and Franchise Development Manager 

Lair holds a dual role with Men In Kilts, owning three units in Boston that she opened recently, as well as acting as Threshold Brands’ franchise development manager at the corporate level. She said the fact that home services is a male-dominated field “has never impacted me”.

“I’m in sales and franchise development, which are both also male dominated,” Lair said. “I’ve never felt like I couldn’t do something because of being a female. If anything, it’s motivation to be competitive and do better.”

She added that she loves working with the powerful and intelligent female leaders at Men In Kilts and admires the way they operate together and create and execute strategies. She said that their presence in a mostly-men sphere is beneficial.

“I think the brand is better for it,” Lair said. “On the corporate side, a lot of it is about nurturing your franchisees and giving them the tools they need to succeed. From a female perspective, I believe that comes naturally to us.”

Tess Day - Saskatchewan, CA Franchisee 

Day recently celebrated her one-year anniversary with Men In Kilts, after signing on as a franchisee in Saskatchewan in April 2021. She saw purchasing a franchise as a way to provide an opportunity for her family, and admired that the brand has a female president — Rachel Southard. 

She said that despite being a male-dominated industry, there is no bias against the leading females in the brand and that she always feels respected, heard and supported by her male counterparts. Day calls Men In Kilts a “very positive environment”, unlike previous jobs she has worked where it can be competitive.  

“Sometimes, as a younger woman working with men, they treat you as a little girl and there is a masculine bravado that you have to prove yourself to or work up against  — that culture doesn’t exist here at Men In Kilts,” Day said. “Even when you are working with a bunch of guys, they treat it like your success is their success, and like you are part of a team where everyone supports each other.”

The total investment required to begin operation of a Men In Kilts franchised business ranges from $157,290 to $191,950. This includes $38,000 that must be paid to the franchisor. For more information about Men In Kilts, visit