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Stop Internalizing Stereotypes — Guest Blog with Rachel Iverson

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In honor of International Women’s Day earlier this week and celebrating Women’s History Month, CompanyCam believes it is important to acknowledge the strength and boldness of the women in this industry. We are proud of the impact and influence women have had on construction, roofing, landscaping, and many more industries. Women are powerful — we don’t talk about it enough.

Looking for stories, CompanyCam reached out to Rachel Iverson, an established Business Developer at SFY Solutions For You, for insight. Being the Membership Chair for the Oklahoma Council of National Women in Roofing, we knew Rachel would have good things to say. And she certainly did! Follow along below as she walks through her experience (and some killer advice!) of being a woman in the roofing industry.

What did you want to be when you grew up? As a little girl, I did not dream about a job in the roofing industry! My childhood aspirations were to be a nurse, teacher, and cake decorator. My dreams were inspired by role models and memorable experiences in my life. My mother was a nurse. As kids we have plenty of direct experience seeing teachers. And as for the cakes…a lady at my church made wedding cakes and I loved stopping by her shop and seeing the beautiful creations!

This is all to say, seeing ourselves in a particular industry starts with becoming aware of the opportunity. This is true of the roofing industry. I have the honor of serving on my local council of National Women in Roofing. One of our goals is to attract women to careers in the roofing industry. Women may be in the minority in this field, but it has a lot to offer! There is a wide variety of career paths, from sales to estimating, and accounting to business ownership. Jobs in this industry have a strong earning potential that allows women to be providers for their families and fund their passions. Many women simply don’t know there are opportunities in contracting, manufacturing, technology, and other services. Being part of National Women in Roofing is one way I can help change that.

Be careful that you are not making assumptions about what your people can do based on their gender.

As women, sometimes we limit our career by internalizing stereotypes about what kind of roles women fit or don’t fit. If you’re reading this, you’re probably already in the roofing industry in some capacity. So far so good. But within this industry, a lot of jobs fall along gender lines. Admin staff tends to be women. Sales, production, and management staff tend to be men. There are exceptions and I’m excited as I see women breaking out of these pigeonholes! And please understand that I’m not dissing admin positions in any way. Let’s affirm that admins are the glue that holds everything together! I’m simply saying to my fellow women — don’t be limited in your thinking.

Evaluate whether your current position has opportunities for advancement. Where can you apply your skill and experience to a higher-level position? Be an advocate for yourself! If your current role doesn’t have room for the growth you want, don’t be afraid to make a sideways jump to a different area. And I would say to men in management and business ownership, look at the growth potential of ALL your employees. Be careful that you are not making assumptions about what your people can do based on their gender. To women who have successfully advanced out of entry-level positions, let me remind you to be a mentor for women coming along behind you.

Keep an eye out for more Women in the Industry blogs. Coming next, read Rachel’s thoughts on mentorship and work culture.

When I say respect, I’m not talking about opening doors for the ladies or saying ma’am”.”

As the Brand Strategist at CompanyCam, Micki builds compelling narratives about those in the trades, researches brand positioning opportunities, strategizes effective distribution of content materials, interviews customers, and meets all the cool influencers at trade shows. After work, Micki can be found watching FIFA highlights, analyzing drama from The Bachelor, trying out new recipes, and lecturing her incorrigible cat, Tommy. It’s the little things.

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