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Women Share Their Wisdom, Advice and Stories

Beacon Women Share Wisdom, Advice and Stories
March 27, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

By Heidi J. Ellsworth for Beacon Building Products. 

National Women in Roofing is reimagining the roofing industry and advocating for a more diverse workforce. 

The initial founding of National Women in Roofing (NWIR) took many by surprise, but has since empowered numerous women to embrace their careers and provide a helping hand for others looking to do the same.   

Through its educational and networking resources for businesses and individuals, National Women in Roofing is advancing the roofing industry towards a more inclusive culture and diverse workforce. 

Launched in 2014, the association started when approximately 2% of roofing companies employed women. Thanks to the leadership of women (and men) who recognize the need for diversity in the roofing industry, things are changing. 

Many believe that better diversity in roofing will only happen when companies prioritize stronger inclusion and equality. NWIR helps with that mission by working with roofing professionals at all career stages through its memberships, scholarships, events and educational offerings. 

Networking and learning at NWIR day  

Today, with the efforts of many in the roofing industry, NWIR has created a new understanding, interest and demand for diversity. Women are more prevalent than ever in the field and at trade shows, meetings and board meetings. The camaraderie of women is also growing through the opportunities provided through NWIR. 

During the third annual National Women in Roofing Day held on February 2, 2020 (prior to the start of the International Roofing Expo in Dallas), over 300 women gathered from across the country and as far as Canada and even New Zealand. The day was filled with presentations from outstanding women in the roofing industry. 

Women from all walks of the roofing life shared their wisdom, advice and stories. One amazing speaker was Shana Maines, Vice President of Human Resources and Corporate and Support Functions for Beacon Building Products. Many of the women there agreed that she had one of the best quotes of the day: "Be interested, not interesting!" That type of inspiration encouraged attendees to continue visualizing, listening, stepping forward and leading in an industry that needs more talent. 

How NWIR honors woman leaders  

The first annual NWIR's inaugural Woman of Outstanding Roofing Leadership and Distinction Award was also given that day. The many nominations showed the breadth of talent and leadership in the roofing industry, and were based on: 

  • Commitment to the development of the roofing industry. 

  • Perseverance against industry odds, breaking barriers (under-represented, age, disability, etc.). 

  • A new perspective of service/contribution to the industry. 

  • Making a difference in a roofing niche. 

NWIR also gives out an annual scholarship to attend the International Roofing Expo and NWIR Day. The IRE Network of Educating Women Scholarship is open to female NWIR members who are first-time conference attendees and actively employed by a roofing contractor. 

For members at home, NWIR offers an array of webinars and mentorship opportunities through its website. Men and women are welcome to join and take advantage of the group's online and in-person resources. 

Lessons from NWIR Day 

When talking to women who attended the inaugural NWIR Day, it was unanimous that the event was a huge success and should happen every year. The opportunity for career growth, networking and education leads to stronger women in the roofing sector and sends a very important message to women looking for a career: The roofing industry is a great option! 

Although roofing is still a conservative trade in many ways, it is also an honorable and ethical career choice. The roofing community continually shows that the heart of the industry is focused on family, loyalty and service. It can be a lifelong choice for workers of any gender whose core values match those of the roofing industry. 

Running a successful business takes balance, and all employees must work together to find success and profitability. By recognizing women's strength and the need for equality, the industry can build and maintain a strong and diverse employee base. When companies work together for everyone's success, it shows. By embracing and empowering women in roofing, the industry will continue to see success in retaining the highest levels of talent. 

Learn more about Beacon Building Products in their RoofersCoffeeShop® Directory or visit www.becn.com.  

Original article source: Beacon Building Products  



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