According to recent statistics, women make up only 10.9% of the workforce in the construction industry. At Duro-Last®, diversity and inclusion are key elements of our company culture, and we are proud to participate in organizations that promote and explore the value that women bring to traditionally male-dominated industries like roofing. In honor of National Women in Construction Week, held March 6th – 12th, we asked women throughout our organization to share their thoughts on establishing a career in roofing and the importance of encouraging other women to explore opportunities that they may not have considered before. Here is the valuable advice they have to share:

“As a woman in the roofing and construction industry, you have to have faith in yourself and your abilities. Ask questions to educate yourself.  Find your voice, step out of your comfort zone to learn as much as you can. Just because you are a woman in a male-dominated industry, it doesn’t mean you do not deserve the same career opportunities.” – Peggy Searles, Human Resources

“It is essential that women in traditionally male-dominant fields share knowledge, show support, and encourage each other’s growth. When one woman succeeds, it clears a path for others to follow.” – Chenelle Plyler, Cooperative Purchasing

“Construction growth in 2022 is predicted to be 6% above pre-pandemic levels; in an industry where only about 10% of the workforce is female, it’s important that we support each other and promote other women to join the trade as leaders, trainers, and advocates to increase our presence in the field.” – Melissa Rigda, Plant Controller/Systems Change

“Women in construction are a necessity for ideation, problem solving, and leadership.  Diversity is needed in all workplaces as experiences and backgrounds contribute to the success of an organization. Personally, I hope that I can be seen as a mentor for new female professionals stepping into a traditionally male-dominated field.” – Mary Koutras, Research & Development

“I’ve been working in this industry for almost nine years now and I have to admit it was very intimidating at first due to it being such a male-dominated field. However, when you are surrounded by strong, confident and well-educated women who all have the same goal, you get the job done and you get the job done well!” – Kelly Tobias, Customer Service

“Less than a quarter of people in the construction industry are women. Before I started in roofing, I didn’t realize how many quality jobs were available in the construction industry. In a time of worker shortages in all levels of employment, I think it’s incredibly important for women in this industry to invite others in, and to help women climb the ladder once they’re in here. Empowered women empower women!” – Molly Gehrls, National Accounts

From the executive team to research and development, manufacturing operations, sales, customer service, and technical support in the field, Duro-Last is committed to empowering women to take on leadership roles in all aspects of the organization. “Diversity has always been one of our core principles at Duro-Last,” said Jill Lynch, Senior Vice President of Human Resources. “We believe that everyone’s unique views and ideas bring value to the table which is vital to our continued growth and innovation. As a woman in a leadership role myself, I consider it an honor to be a resource for other women while also helping them grow their skills and navigate their own leadership path.”