Ontario Construction Report special feature
As chief financial officer and a founding partner at Caliber Communications and as a founding partner, Raven Van Bommel offers unique insight into success as a woman in a male-dominated industry. She is the only female partner in the business that provides live remote video services for the construction industry.
Van Bommel helped to establish Caliber Communications in 2014, following extensive market study, research and development of its products, service and the benefits to security in the industry. She says she was fortunate to be part of the start up phase, assisting the growth of Caliber as the CFO of this “leading edge technology company.”
She says early exposure to a strong, female entrepreneur helped position her for success as the only female in what is still a male dominated industry. “While I was in school, I worked for Joan Turpin, who had started her Pool and Spa Construction and Service business in 1976 during a time when being a woman in business was incredibly challenging. Over the 12 years that I worked for her, Joan taught me not only valuable business lessons that I attribute to my own successes as an entrepreneur today, but also that gender bias can be overcome with hard work, determination and success.”
In her current role, Van Bommel says as the only female partner, she has been able to offer an alternative perspective on certain issues and ideas. “I am so proud of our extremely intelligent, talented and skilled team, the culture we have built as a company and enjoy working closely with this group of incredible individuals.”
She says her greatest challenge, has not been related to gender but rather, has been breaking the mold of the low expectations set by traditional security systems and showing the construction industry that there is a new standard of alternative, more reliable and cost-effective ways to reduce liability and secure properties and assets.
That being said, she says her greatest success has been growing Caliber Communications from inception to a company of more than 50 employees in less than four years, changing the standards of security available to the public, and becoming Canada’s first UL (Underwriters Laboratories of Canada) Certified Video Monitoring Company.
Beyond her business success, Van Bommel is also the founder and executive director of a Hamilton charity which seeks to ensure that infants and children have access to diapering and feeding essentials. Essential Aid and Family Services of Ontario operates an Infant and Toddler Food Bank providing formula, baby food and diapers to hundreds of children each month. For more information, see www.essentrialaid.ca.