Always be yourself. This is the first thing I would tell any young woman who is pursuing a career in the HVAC industry. I would also advise her to be confident in her abilities and femininity because that is what will enable her to add a different perspective.
It is also important to remember that in a lot of cases, it is the female in the home that makes the purchasing decisions; having that female perspective helps the organization and industry better serve the consumer.
Additionally, while the industry may not have changed much, the consumer we serve has. Consumers are much more savvy, more technology centric than ever. How they receive information is ever evolving, how they shop is ever changing, what information they seek and from whom they seek it continues to evolve and expand. The generational differences are real and we need to communicate and serve an ever-changing demographic. The opportunities for young woman considering HVAC are so vast and exciting!
Roles for women
There are a variety of roles for people within the HVACR industry and equally as many for women; anywhere from service to sales to management, from entrepreneurship to manufacturing to corporate roles. As with the myriad of career opportunities, recruitment should be just as broad.
There are women targeted organizations, publications and events where the industry is absent in promoting the various career opportunities and in making the industry attractive and welcoming to women.
Given that men do dominate this industry more efforts should be made to showcase women within in the industry, achieving great career success and professional satisfaction. I applaud efforts such as this magazine.
At Haier America we are looking at collaborating with local women’s organizations and have become more actively involved with local colleges and technical institutions. We want women to be familiar with Haier America by engaging them in memorable ways. This will help us continue to attract more dynamic, creative women.
Everyone has different strengths and skills sets. However, from my own personal experiences, I can tell you that having business management skills is a positive. Core finance, marketing, profit and loss, relationship management, operations and sales skills are the same from one industry to the next. Plus, strong foundational skills in any discipline enable success within a certain industry.
Yes, there are the nuances of learning the industry’s players, language, market and other dynamics, however, these are these same nuances you have to learn in any industry. When I joined this industry, I brought all my skills — strategic planning, B2B marketing, B2C marketing, financial planning, process re-engineering, solution selling, operations management, change management — that I had garnered throughout my career. I focused on applying my skills to the context of the industry, bringing a fresh perspective and best practices from other industries.
I can guarantee any woman who joins the HVAC industry that there will be many memorable experiences. Personally, I am looking forward to reflecting back on this time in my career; in being able to lead an organization transformation.
At Haier America we have launched our full line of ductless product, expanded our back office support, enabled premium service, formed partnerships with other industry leaders, expanded our market coverage, attracted amazing talent and accelerated our brand awareness.
As we departed from a HVAC product line outside our core competency into the ductless market where we have more than 20 years of global technical expertise, I am extremely honored to be part of the dynamic organization and incredible leadership team that has been assembled.
I have not yet had the opportunity to step back and relish on what we have accomplished in a very short time and at the pace in which we are moving, I probably won’t for years to come. But when I do get a chance to catch my breath and reflect, I know I’m going to say, “Amazing, this ride has been nothing short of amazing.”
Gina Copeland joined Haier America in August of 2014 as Senior Vice President, Air Quality. In this role, Copeland is accountable for the overall competitiveness, profitability and strategic direction of the Air Quality business for the Americas.