March 8 may have been International Women’s Day, but at Barrio Queen, women are recognized year-round. In fact, the locally-owned popular restaurant – which serves authentic Mexican fare and now has six Valley locations – has made it a point to hire, mentor and promote women in what is typically a male-dominated field.
“There are a lot of companies that hire women,” says Barrio Queen co-owner Linda Nash, “But being a female-owned business, we ensure that there are advancement opportunities for everyone.”
Nash, who owns the restaurants with Steven Rosenfield, came from a blue-collar family of 12. She has always made it a point to be a trailblazer. She began her career as a welding inspector in the nuclear power industry and by her twenties, she was leading 152 nuclear power.
“In this country, anyone can move ahead at any age if you have the drive, I am living proof,” she says. “Women before me have paved the way, and I hope I pave the way, as well.”
Nash always ensures that Barrio Queen is providing ample opportunities for women, and spends time coaching them, as well. In fact, Barrio Queen has women in roles across the company, including many of its leadership roles – which is not typical in the restaurant industry – from the Director of Human Resources to Expeditors.
Magaly Calderon is one of the women who have benefited from Nash’s guidance and Barrio Queen’s opportunities. She began working for the company in early 2012, just after Barrio Queen opened its first location. She began as a hostess and is now second-in-command of operations.
“I have always been supported in every way as I developed my restaurant career,” Calderon says. “I gained a lot of experience, not only in my professional life, but also in my personal life. Now I’m a wife and mom, and I can also have quality family time, which creates a great balance in my life. I think that is one key to being successful.”
And that’s Barrio Queen’s goal – for everyone to be successful.
“We provide equal pay and equal respect,” Nash says. “Anyone can advance, we encourage it.”
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