Women's Journal

Breaking Down Barriers: Robin Thorne’s Mission to Empower Women and Elevate Girls in Nontraditional Careers

Breaking Down Barriers: Robin Thorne's Mission to Empower Women and Elevate Girls in Nontraditional Careers
Photo Courtesy: CTI/DemoChicks

Empower, Elevate and Enlighten – Robin Thorne, demolishes barriers for women in construction.

In an industry where the presence of women is not just rare but often overlooked, Robin Sylvia Thorne stands as a beacon of change and empowerment. As the CEO of CTI Environmental, Inc. (CTI) and the founder of DemoChicks (DC), Thorne is not just challenging the status quo; she’s rewriting the narrative for women and girls in engineering and construction.

A chemical engineer by profession, Thorne’s journey is one of determination, resilience, and an unwavering belief in the power of passion. Launching CTI in 2009, she has led the company to become a trusted provider of engineering, environmental, safety, and construction management services. With clients ranging from the Federal Aviation Administration to Fortune 500 companies, Thorne’s leadership has ensured that CTI offers solutions that are not just effective but also considerate of environmental compliance and safety from the get-go.

However, it’s about more than leading a successful firm for Thorne. Her true passion lies in empowering young girls and women to explore nontraditional careers through her initiative, DemoChicks. Inspired by the realization of the wage potential in construction and the 

conspicuous absence of women in the field, DemoChicks was born out of a demolition project of a federal prison. Since its inception, the nonprofit has been dedicated to introducing girls to the realms of engineering and construction through hands-on workshops, scholarships, and mentoring.

Thorne’s path has not been without challenges. From the early days of struggling to stabilize CTI to facing stereotypes and balancing leadership demands with personal commitments, her journey reflects the myriad obstacles women often encounter in nontraditional fields. Yet, her resolve to overcome these challenges speaks volumes about her character and vision. She emphasizes the importance of perseverance, stating, “It took faith to keep going, believing that my efforts would yield a win.”

What sets Thorne apart is her ability to leverage her experiences to uplift others. Through CTI, she offers customized, flexible solutions that underscore the importance of compliance as a priority, not an afterthought. This approach not only mitigates risks for clients but also showcases her expertise in regulatory compliance, positioning her as a leading figure in environmental and safety practices.

Her accolades, including the Drexel University Circle of Distinction and the Small Business of the Year Award from the California Black Chamber of Commerce, attest to her impact both as a professional and a community leader. 

Yet, Thorne’s vision extends beyond accolades. She dreams of expanding CTI into new markets and transforming DemoChicks into an international brand that empowers black girls globally to pursue careers without self-imposed limitations.

For Thorne, the mission is clear: to increase visibility for DemoChicks and brand herself and CTI as experts in environmental compliance and safety. 

She aims to inspire and lead by example, showing that with commitment, belief, and hard work, success is not just possible but inevitable.

In doing so, Thorne is not just building a business or an initiative; she’s building hopes, dreams, and passions. She’s showing that the barriers we face can be broken down, and in their place, we can build a future where women and girls in nontraditional careers are not an exception but a norm.

For more about Robin Thorne’s initiatives and her vision for empowering women and elevating girls in nontraditional careers, visit DemoChicks, CTI Environmental, and Robin Thorne’s personal site.

Robin Thorne’s journey and the work of CTI and DemoChicks serve as a powerful reminder of the magic of saying yes – yes to challenges, yes to change, and yes to the endless possibilities that come when we dare to dream big and work tirelessly towards those dreams.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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