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Pittsburgh Entrepreneur Hopes To Set Example For Women In Business

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Debbie Mancini spent about 40 years showing homes as a real estate agent.

Now, she's walking through them to inspect. Mancini created A Harmony Home Inspection about 30 years ago and provides service all over western Pennsylvania.

"I'm talking people down off of ledges every day," said Mancini. "'My radon came in at 20 pCi/l. I'm going to die.' No, no, this is what we're going to do. It's just about educating, and that's what I do best. I educate."

But Mancini said at first, some people don't want to listen.

"The biggest challenge is just right up front because people look at you and immediately judge you," Mancini said. "I'm here to say this is what a home inspector looks like in Debbie land."

In 2019, women made up about 10 percent of construction and building inspectors nationwide, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. But Mancini said being a woman in a male-dominated field has its advantages, too.

"They kind of feel the mommy touch," said Mancini. "I'm a mom before I'm anything else, so everything I do has that, 'How-can-I-help-you approach?' It's genuine and people see that."

Mancini encourages other women to climb the ladder and ask for support along the way.

"I think women are shy to ask for help," said Mancini. "We're taught to just do it or don't do. Be quiet. Act like a lady. Nah."

So that one day they can shatter the glass ceiling just like she did.

"I keep a little pink hammer on my tableside to remind me of that," said Mancini. "Not only did I crash through the ceiling, but I also believe in harmoniously helping other women. It's what it's all about."

When Mancini is not picking up a hammer, she's picking up a pen to write children's books. She has a new one coming out this summer. In this book, she blends the real estate world with a child's world.

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