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.
Sarah Scepanski, Scepanski Roofing
1. How did you get involved in the roofing industry? My father started our family roofing company back in 1971 before I was even born. So, roofing has been a part of my life since the very beginning!
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’ve always known I was strong, but I didn’t realize how strong I was until I became owner of our family business. When things don’t go as planned, instead of letting frustrations get me down, I look to find another solution to the problem, and often it turns out to be a better, more effective manner of getting things done.
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 grandmother. Although I was her youngest grandchild and didn’t get to spend as much time with her as my older siblings and cousins did, I saw her as an admirable, strong and inspirational woman. She lost her husband when her children were only in their teens. She had to work multiple jobs to support her family but there was always a home-cooked meal on the dinner table every night. She is a great example of maintaining a strong work ethic while balancing it with keeping a comfortable home for her family.
4. Who is one of your favorite Women in History? Irena Sendler. She was a Polish nurse that was willing to risk her own life to do what was right. She saved the lives of thousands of Jewish children from the Nazis in World War II by smuggling them out of the Warsaw ghetto.
5. As we know, many of the women in our industry are always juggling multiple responsibilities. How do you manage a work-life balance? Work takes up so much of my day, but I make the time for my health, my family and my home. Prioritizing the important things in my life around work, not the other way around. Keeping a schedule is essential for me.
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 raised around roofing my whole life, but I didn’t start working with my family business until I graduated from high school. A little naïve, I didn’t realize I would be one of the first females to be working in roofing locally at the time. One day, I had gone into a local lumberyard to purchase some material. The clerk told me he couldn’t sell to me because only contractors were able to make purchases. I told him I was working for my family roofing company. He laughed and said, “You don’t look like a roofer.” I boldly asked him, “What’s a roofer supposed to look like?” He placed my order. Over the years, I’ve heard that I ‘don’t look like a roofer’ many times, but a lesson was learned for me that day. I made the decision to embrace being different and to find success with it. Although women are still a minority in the roofing field, we are here, and we are making a big impact on the industry.
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? As a woman in business I have had the privilege to talk to young people at some of the local schools about planning for their future. When the students realize what field I’m in, they are often surprised that a woman is working the roofing industry. But that curiosity turns into questions and then those questions turn into real interest in possibly pursuing a career in construction, from both males and females. It’s really been a great opportunity to encourage young people to consider a type of work they may not have thought about and share my personal experience with a career I truly love.