Women in Industry: Julia Pinto of Quality Material Handling Inc.

What She Was Born to Do

Born into the family business, Julia Pinto of Quality Material Handling Inc. is making her own name in the industry.

By Nicole Needles

Julia Pinto jokes that she was born into the material handling business. She was born just two years after her parents started their company. From attending sales meetings and family dinners at the office as a child to wearing her tiny, custom made company polo, she’s been a part of Quality Material Handling Inc. for as long as she can remember.

Initially, she wanted to stray from the family business to pursue a career in real estate. She interned with the family company in high school and then left for college to pursue a career in international business. Since this wasn’t challenging enough for Pinto, she transitioned to business finance. She started doing clerical work for her family’s company along the way. After an embezzlement incident, it was her time to shine. The unfortunate event allowed her to step up and help where needed. From there, she worked to her current position as chief operating officer. The rest is history.

For most of her career, Pinto has been surrounded by other women in the office, even in a male-dominated industry. When she becomes outnumbered by visiting a job site, even if people initially underestimate her, she has confidence that her knowledge and capability will shine through.

“I noticed that I really have to make it clear I know what I’m talking about, that I have the experience and then make sure that they develop that respect,” she said. “Not that they’re disrespectful, but I need to ensure they understand there’s a reason why I’m here. So that’s a challenge; just making sure they take me seriously.”

Looking past bias, there are a lot of helpful qualities that women bring to the industry, Pinto says. Women are exceptionally detail-oriented and organized, which is essential at Quality Material Handling Inc. The many different roles women play daily make them even more capable in the workplace to take charge, adapt and manage projects effectively.

“I’ve seen a lot more women in this industry become project managers, which I think is very cool. They’re keeping everything moving along in the right direction,” she said. “Women particularly can wear many hats and manage their stress well under pressure.”

Sometimes, women feel they have to scramble to measure up to their male counterparts. Pinto says they are enough as they are.

“Don’t overcompensate. Don’t live like you’ve got something to prove,” she said. “They’re willing to teach as long as you’re willing to learn. My dad and other guys who have been my mentors are excited to give me information. They’re willing to share as long as I ask for it.”

One of the things she’s learned from others along the way and has taught herself is to lead from the front. Pinto emphasizes the importance of doing tasks outside of her job description for the good of the team. When you’re excited about something and find fun in the mundane, so will the rest of the group.

“My motto is to be humble, lead from the front, not from the back and not crack the whip. It’s also important to carry high energy with the team, be supportive and serve them because they’re going to feed off of that,” Pinto said. “They can’t succeed without you being the best version you can be.”

In addition, she knows the importance of treating employees with respect and treating them as you would family members. She has gained firsthand experience from growing up seeing her parents treat their employees like people instead of numbers. She can now implement those practices herself as a leader in the company.

Pinto gets to work with her parents, husband and brother. She loves the business and the industry that she’s in. But what’s her favorite part? Changing lives.

“I like that I have the ability to impact lives, improve lives and drive the business forward,” she said. “Whether that’s doing something new or discontinuing something, I love that I have that ability.”