The HVACR industry has a tremendous opportunity to recruit women into the industry, but the industry also can make adjustments so women are more comfortable contributing their ideas, noted a panel of Women in HVACR members Feb. 8 at the 2023 AHR Expo in Atlanta. Erica Leanor (Goodleap), Laurelyn Arriaga (Women in HVACR board member) and Kristin Gallup (Carrier) explained that the organization is focused on providing HVACR women with networking, education and mentoring opportunities to advance their careers.
“The power of language has a large impact on how women are seen in the industry,” noted Leanor. “It takes seven seconds to make a first impression, and many women are labeled in those seven seconds.”
Labels such as emotional, bossy or weak put women in a bad light; passionate, intentional, resourceful and strategic are less derogatory ways to describe women.
“Mentorship from others in the HVAC industry allows women to understand that there are promotion and educational opportunities for them,” Leanor said. “Pay it forward!”
Gallup said that the industry has a “huge” opportunity to hire women. “Of the 12% of women in the HVACR industry, only 2% are in the field. Infiltrating high schools and trade schools to highlight the career potential of HVAC can help with our skilled labor shortage.”
She noted that the Women in HVACR’s Ambassador program helps in that respect by highlighting the lucrative career paths available in HVAC.
And Arriaga explained that “investing in yourself” by membership in a trade organization helps women grow in the industry and gives them a sense of belonging.