The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Women in the labor force: a databook, December 2015 indicates that in 2014, women accounted for only .5 percent of roofers. If you look at the statistics you might think that women are not really involved in the roofing industry, at all. However, while it is true that there may not be very many women using nail guns on rooftops, it is equally true that there are a great many women who are involved in all other facets of the industry. Some of the areas of involvement include: Entrepreneurship, Management, Administration, Sales/Marketing, Roofing Technology, and Estimating.
Recognizing there was a need for a nationwide-organization representing and supporting women in the business, National Women in Roofing (NWIR) was launched in February 2016 by Heidi J. Ellsworth, Chairperson of NWIR and Lindy Ryan, National Roofing Contractors Association’s (NRCA’s) first female Chairman of the Board.
The organization’s four key goals are the following:
- Mentoring—empowering women in their career
- Education—creating continuing education programs
- Networking—providing opportunities for women in the industry to create ties
- Recruiting—helping to bring more women into the industry
Currently, NWIR is gearing up to start councils across the country. Women interested in starting a local council are encouraged to contact NWIR. They will provide support materials and contacts for other interested women in the area.
While roofing is traditionally a male-dominated industry, things have changed and will continue to progress. Women are finding that there are a lot of fulfilling career opportunities in the roofing industry starting and working for companies involved in roof installation, roof repairs and replacement, distribution, manufacturing, roofing-related technology, roofing sales, etc.
Being involved in organizations such as NWIR, provides opportunities for women to network, take leadership roles, advance their careers, mentor others, learn new things, and get to know other insiders in the industry. GenFlex supports and encourages all women in the roofing industry in their professional success.