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Nitsch Engineering chosen as No. 1 medium-size company

A company founded and run by women gives employees respect and flexibility.

Lisa Brothers is CEO of Nitsch Engineering. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff/Globe Staff

WHEN NITSCH ENGINEERING launched in 1989, it was very unusual for women to own an engineering firm. But founder Judith Nitsch wanted to control her destiny, so she set out to build her own company in the male-dominated field. Today, the civil engineering firm she founded has a reputation for excellent work and happy workers, drawing talented engineers of all sexes, ages, and ethnicities.

Thoughts from the top: “I don’t want a workaholic — that person’s going to burn out and be gone,” CEO Lisa Brothers says. “I don’t expect anybody to check their e-mails on vacation.”

A magic moment: Nitsch Engineering hooked project manager Nicole Holmes when she was an intern during college. She recalls making plan copies for senior employees who took the time to explain to her the projects she was contributing to. “The reason I wanted to stay was I was treated so well, even as an intern,” Holmes says.


Office space: Nitsch Engineering’s downtown Boston offices are certified LEED Gold as energy-efficient. A portion of the power is purchased from renewable sources, and the cubicles (all refurbished) are flanked by floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light. Signs posted throughout the office explain to employees and visitors the environmentally friendly measures that earned the space its certification.

Balancing act: Nitsch Engineering would rather have the very best employees part time than not at all, says Brothers. Benefits are available to anyone who works just 20 hours a week and workers are given the flexibility to work on their own schedule, or from home. “We just know they’ll get the work done,” Brothers says.

In a word: Respect

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