When discussing women in the workforce, we often hear about the glass ceiling — but these days, women are moving up to the roof! According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), roofing is considered a “nontraditional” (male-dominated) occupation for women. In 2014, women only made up 0.5% of the total number of roofers in the U.S.
A male-dominated occupation is one where women represent 25% or less of the total workers. It’s likely that we will see shifts in the individual statistics as more women feel confident to work and succeed in nontraditional jobs.
The good news is that women are not alone in their efforts. In April 2016, the DOL announced a $1.9 million grant opportunity to expand support for women in nontraditional occupations. U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said, “These grants will help to turn the tide and ensure that more women have the support and access they need to be successful in a variety of ‘nontraditional’ careers.”
The grants will provide efforts for the following:
- Development of connections with pre-apprenticeship programs to prepare women for Registered Apprenticeship programs.
- Orientations for employers on creating a successful environment for women in apprenticeship.
- Identifying resources for supportive services including child care, transportation, support groups and other efforts to remove barriers to women succeeding in these industries.
National Women in Roofing
Despite being a minority in the industry, women roofing professionals also have a national organization that provides networking, recruiting, mentoring and education. National Women in Roofing (NWIR) is a volunteer-based group that officially launched in February 2016 at the International Roofing Expo.
NWIR has the following goals:
- Mentoring – Mentor and empower women in the roofing industry towards excellence in their chosen career
- Education – Create high-quality learning programs and experiences for men and women to build successful businesses and careers for both genders
- Networking – Provide opportunities to meet women in the roofing industry, creating strong, long-lasting networks
- Recruiting – Reach beyond traditional recruitment to enable and promote careers in the roofing industry to current and future workers
As a consumer-trusted roofing and restoration contractor in the St. Louis area, we at Signature Exteriors are proud to be a part of an industry that supports and empowers women to break through barriers and change the landscape of the workforce.