By Adam Cabrera.
When it comes to the roofing industry, the presence of women is sometimes overlooked. However, in New Zealand, Jenny Maxwell, President of the Roofing Association of New Zealand and the Chairperson of New Zealand Women in Roofing (NZWiR), is changing the narrative.
During a conversation on the Roofing Road Trips® podcast, Jenny unpacked the history and the role of NZWiR, an organization that is connecting and empowering women across the roofing sector. The New Zealand roofing landscape, dominated by metal due to the country’s unique climate, offers distinct challenges and opportunities, something Jenny knows well since founding her own roofing company in 2009.
Inspired by the National Women in Roofing conference in the US, Jenny brought the idea of a women’s roofing association back to her home country. “It really stirred something in me,” Jenny said, recalling her experience in the US and her determination to create similar supportive structures in New Zealand.
NZWiR's mission is to unite women, especially those in smaller companies, and provide a support network and resources to foster their growth in the industry. Under Jenny’s guidance, the organization is making big strides with initiatives like scholarships to national conferences and leadership courses, designed to develop essential skills for women in roofing.
Recruiting, mentoring, education and networking are pillars of the organization along with seeking to foster long-term growth throughout the industry. Jenny is passionate about mentoring, emphasizing the value of passing the torch by bringing in new women to help run the association. “Better that we actually let these girls get in and get themselves some experience, what we can do is actually sit there in the back and actually mentor them,” Jenny said.
Adam Cabrera is a writer and podcast producer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When he isn't writing about roofs he enjoys camping in the Rocky Mountains, going to concerts and playing music.
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