This year in honor of Women’s History Month, Roofing Is Celebrating Women. Let’s not just celebrate the women who are written in the history books but let’s also celebrate ourselves. This month, you will see highlights of women to be celebrated within our industry.
Jennifer Keegan, GAF
1. How did you get involved in the roofing industry?
With degrees in Architecture and Civil Engineering, I knew design wasn’t for me. The only job interview that got me even remotely excited was when they took me out to a job site and up onto the roof. When they asked if I was afraid of heights, I took a deep breath and said “no!” while my insides screamed “YES!”. I readily joined the industry and quickly conquered my fear of heights!
2. What is one of the key things you’ve learned about yourself that you wish you would’ve known when you first entered the roofing industry?
That being bold serves me well, given the right context, but patience needed to come first. I needed to be quiet, observant, and learn. To know that it was okay to ask questions. That I would benefit from some amazing mentors who would teach me all they knew. And that as I continued to learn, my confidence would grow. And I would grow with my team. And we would do great things together. And then one day, it would be my turn to give back.
3. In the spirit of Women’s History Month, who in your life has been an inspiring female figure that has helped you get to where you are today, physically, emotionally, intellectually and/or spiritually?
My daughters. They forever changed me! Believe it or not, I’m way more patient than I used to be! I’ve learned from one’s empathy and the other’s resilience. They challenge me every day to be the best version of myself. When I find myself struggling with a decision, I often consider how they would perceive things. They are my guiding light!
4. Who is one of your favorite Women in History?
Maya Angelou. Her messages always resonated deeply within me. One of my favorites…
People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.
5. As we know, many of the women in our industry are always juggling multiple responsibilities. How do you manage a work-life balance?
I failed at this for many years. I fit my life in around work. I was averaging 70-80 hours every week. After a wake up call, I made an intentional change in my life. I started a new job. I spent 4 months detoxing from my computer at night and on the weekends. And I realized that I wasn’t going to miss any more of my life! I have made an active practice of being in the moment. Giving my undivided attention where ever I choose to be. It has made all the difference in the world!
6. Share an example of a time when you realized you were one of the first women at your job, school, family, or social organization to do something that had a meaningful impact or caused a positive change?
I was the first woman to ask to work part time after my 2nd daughter was born. I was pumping in the bathroom and my car. I was working 60 hours/week and dropping my girls off at daycare on the days I was supposed to be home with them. My targets and metrics stayed the same, even though I was supposed to be part time. It was impossible for me to succeed. Eventually, I left the company. Shortly thereafter, the policy was updated so part time parents could continue to grow in their careers.
7. Share something that you have been a part of that other women can follow in your footsteps and pave new trails in the industry?
Everyone can be a bridge. Connecting people. Connecting efforts. Connecting organizations. Connecting industries. I took my passion for knowledge and education. Grew that in my day job. Shared that with NWIR. And I’m using this to create a bridge between NWIR and IIBEC. This is just the beginning!