Thank you to Todd Skaggs, VP with Beacon Building Products, for sharing thoughts on how men in the construction industry can be allies with women. Esther Ehrenman, Beacon’s eCommerce Product Manager, discusses how men and women can collaborate to promote and empower women in the industry.
Q: How did you get involved with NWiR?
A: About 6-7 years ago, I attended my first International Roofing Expo (IRE) with a colleague of mine, Stephanie Branham. We were both branch managers in Louisville Kentucky. Stephanie went out a few days early to attend an association meeting. Since that time, I’ve watched Stephanie continue to grow both within Beacon and within the association. And I’ve also watched more and more women within Beacon get more active within the association.
Q: How can NWiR can help you and other business leaders?
A: We have to be deliberate about exposing our team to other professionals in the manufacturing, distribution and customer sectors of the roofing industry thereby creating a network of like-minded individuals who are talented, ambitious and challenging the status quo.
Q: What are some ways industry leaders can support women in the industry?
A: Mindset – change how we view the jobs, positions, leadership roles and opportunities in this historically male dominated industry. Changing that mindset allows you open your perspective and see the possibilities.
Encourage – Recognize your team and highlight your high performers. Bring opportunities such as NWiR membership, trade shows/conferences, educational opportunities in general to your team and promote these within your organization.
Recruit – Look outside of normal channels to recruit more talented women into the industry and your organization. Challenge the norms of a male dominated industry by making more women aware of the growth opportunities in the Roofing & Building Products industry. A good example is the NWiR Recruiting page.
Q: What is the impact of NWiR on professional development for women?
Exposure – you can get tunnel vision in an organization and not realize what’s happening in the industry around you. NWiR effectively shines a spotlight on women in the industry, allows them to build relationships with other women in the industry, promotes professional development and education opportunities all designed to enhance their skills and improve on a personal and professional level.