I belong to a group called “Women in HVACR” and have for a year or so. This morning I got an email from someone at HVACR/Hydronics Distribution magazine asking members of the group to submit input to a short survey. As a PhD student, I often feel “compelled” to participate in surveys (“survey karma” is what our instructors preach) so I figured I’d take a few minutes and fill this one out too.
As is often true, merely participating in the survey gave me time, and the excuse, to reflect on something I would not have otherwise considered. It didn’t take long, but it was nice for me to have take a few minutes and put into words my feelings about being a member of this industry. So…I thought I’d share them here with you.
Question 1: What do you think of when someone says: “Women in HVACR”?
Answer 1: As a member of the HVACR industry, my interest is automatically piqued as this is a small enough “club” to be considered “elite”.
Question 2: What suggestion(s) would you offer that would encourage more women to enter the industry in the next five years?
Answer 2: First, there are many places in the industry that are well suited to the abilities and capabilities that women can bring…nothing, in my opinion, is off-limits here. Second, with a substantially greater percentage of men in the field, particularly in technical and leadership positions, this is a perfect place for a confident young woman to begin a career and be assured of the ability to grow, move, and to be noticed. Finally, as recent years have our industry looking at energy conservation, reductions in environmental impacts, Smart and Green building applications, etc. participation in the field can be challenging and rewarding, but also part of some bigger picture efforts that have far-reaching effects. The HVACR industry space is a great place for women, and other minorities, to explore.
Question 3: On a personal level, what have been the most rewarding aspects of working in the HVACR industry?
Answer 3: After spending a number of years in the petrochemical industry, I’m actually a bit late coming to the world of HVACR. I work for and with some incredibly knowledgeable, talented, and innovative people and there’s something to be said for the satisfaction that comes from being a member of such a team. There are lots of technical challenges that come my way (yes, even in the role of Marketing Manager!) and I find it very rewarding to work through those issues and come up with solutions that work.
Question 4: Are you a current member of Women in HVACR?