As a firm, we understand the value women bring to the table, especially in industries that are predominantly male, such as construction and legal. From the very first time we heard about the plan to create a women in roofing organization, we were thrilled to jump in and be part of an organization that empowers some of the most valuable members of the roofing world. Not only does NWIR provide a platform for those in the industry to learn and grow by being exposed to others’ experiences as well as all of the facets of the roofing industry, but it also provides so many educational opportunities to help women excel in the roofing world.

We are incredibly proud to continue our work with NWIR in various capacities, whether it is assisting the organization as General Counsel, serving on the board of a local council, or sharing ideas with fellow members. Hear from some of our NWIR members below to learn how they got involved in the industry and NWIR’s impact on them!

Why did you want to work in construction law?

Danielle Maya: I decided to focus on construction law for two reasons. First, I love construction and I find it very rewarding to be able to see progress at the end of a day’s work. I even considered working as a general contractor, but ultimately did not think it would be a good career path because of my gender. Second, I really enjoy helping folks who do an honest day’s work keep their hands clean. It is extremely satisfying to help businesses proactively prevent legal issues and solve them as effectively and efficiently as possible so that contractors can focus on what they do best—construction.

Hilary Morgan: I primarily chose to specialize in construction law because of the people and because I grew up in a construction family so it was a familiar world to me. I love that my job involves talking to contractors about real issues in the field—which is so much better than dealing with opposing counsel! It was also appealing because my favorite classes in law school were property and contracts which are the building blocks of construction law. I feel very fortunate to be in construction law and do not ever want to practice any other type of law.

What surprised you most about working with women in roofing?

Ashlee Poplin: The number of women who are actually in the roofing industry! You would think the number would be extremely minimal compared to men. NWIR provides a forum for everyone to get together which shows how large this community really is.

Danielle Maya: Sometimes it is difficult to connect with people when you first meet them, but women in the industry have been warm and welcoming from the start, especially those at NWIR’s meetings.

Any advice for women interested in joining the construction industry?

Ashlee Poplin: Do it! There are plenty of opportunities and a great community of women involved in construction who can provide support.

Christie Coston: Join organizations where you can build a network and connect with like-minded individuals. Despite the construction industry being male dominant, there are plenty of opportunities for women to take on leading roles and grow within the industry.

Danielle Maya: It is still a man’s world in the construction industry, so set yourself up for success by joining an association like NWIR to help you navigate it. You will see you are not alone; women tend to help and support other women – it is practically in our DNA!

How has National Women in Roofing helped you?

Ashlee Poplin: Our Charlotte office is relatively new and NWIR provided instant connections in the area. I’ve met some pretty awesome people at our council meetings!

Hilary Morgan: The women I have gotten to know through NWIR are my role models. They have taught me so much about being a businesswoman and the determination to conquer any challenge. And, they are fun! Working with people that are both inspiring and fun is such a blessing, and I have met more through this group than anywhere else.

What is the best NWIR event you have attended so far?

Ashlee Poplin: I was able to be a part of the Together More Than Ever Series: Financial, Human Resources, and Diversity Impacts of COVID on the Roofing Industry. It was a cool event because it gave me the opportunity to provide NWIR members with some insight on how to navigate these unprecedented times.

Danielle Maya: This is a difficult question as there have been many. On the local level, the events are meaningful since the intimate setting allows you to really connect with others in the area. The national events have also proven to be extremely motivational. Thinking back, the most memorable event for me was the luncheon in D.C. prior to NRCA’s Roofing Day in 2019.

Christie Coston: The Tampa Council is always planning activities that help the members of the organization build genuine relationships with one another, but my personal favorite was the self-defense class that we had not too long ago; it was informative and really fun!

Hilary Morgan: My favorite activities are always the ones where we get to go on a roof or do something in the field. At NWIR Day in Dallas this year, touring the roof of the Omni Hotel was such a fun hands-on way to learn about some of the issues I had only seen on paper and in photographs. My absolute favorite event was a tour of a shingle manufacturing facility put on by the Tampa Council. We toured the entire line and learned about every step of the process, from start to finish. It was incredible to see how efficiently the process ran and, as a result, the quantity of product that is produced by that one facility.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.