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.
Robin Hardina, Elite Roofing Supply
1. How did you get involved in the roofing industry?
It was a little bit by accident. I was drawn to the job ad and then later to the people I interviewed with at Elite Roofing Supply. They were very dynamic, entrepreneurial and continuing in accelerated growth mode. I had always been around construction both growing up and in a few of my jobs previously, however, my taking the job at Elite was more of a reflection on the people than the industry.
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?
I think I’ve always known it, but it became even more apparent when I examined the industry. There isn’t really anything flashy that may draw one to roofing distribution, I mean, it’s really just a commodity. Therefore, the people and the relationships really have to take center stage. I don’t know if Elite will ever be the most operationally efficient independent distributor, but I can say I work with the best people, who are building the best company, of my career.
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 maternal grandmother was always such a bright person in my life. She passed away from cancer when I was 19 and I was very saddened. She had always been positive and had me over on my birthday for my special day. After she passed, I moved in with my grandfather to keep him company. And for months, even years later, he always spoke so highly of her and said she was the most wonderful person he’d ever known. What a legacy!
4. Who is one of your favorite Women in History?
When I was in the 4th grade, I did an essay on Anne Frank. I found her to be very brave, honest and inspirational. I remember thinking that she didn’t even know the impact her story would have on people well into the next century. In 1944, a few months before her death at 16, she wrote in her diary
“I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me!
When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?”
I would encourage women, and men alike, to think big and don’t let obstacles deter you. Each day get up and move forward with the belief that you will accomplish great things. You don’t know the impact you are having now or in the future.
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 think the same could be said for any industry really. It is about priorities and while I’d like to say you can have it all, you really can’t. There are times I am away from my family, but I know that I’m earning a salary that affords us vacations or time together down the road. I am grateful everyday not only for a job that is the highlight of my career, but one when so many people have lost theirs amidst the pandemic.
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 have never felt anything could hold me back from whatever I set my mind to, so honestly, I didn’t notice being the first women at my job. I’m a minority in the industry, but I believe being a good teammate, listening to others, going the extra mile and building relationships wherever you land, takes you miles regardless of your sex.
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?
I would encourage you to find your bliss! Keep seeking out the job where you know you’re a round peg in a round hole. You will make the most impact on your company, your co-workers, your family and yourself… you’ll know it when you find it!