By Evelyn Witterholt, RCS Reporter.
In a recent Coffee Conversations, RoofersCoffeeShop® highlighted the voices of four very important women working in the roofing industry today. RCS President Heidi J. Ellsworth spoke with our COO Karen Edwards, Kaci Atherton from McPartlon Roofing, Mackenzie Beldon from Beldon Roofing and LeeAnn Slattery from ATAS International about their amazing work in roofing. They also discuss the ways they are recruiting more young women into the industry.
Kaci started in the medical industry, but after feeling burnt out, she turned to working in the roofing industry. Now, she works as a service coordinator for McPartlon Roofing and loves the support she’s received from the roofing community, particularly the women she’s met through National Women in Roofing (NWIR).
“I was looking for something new,” Kaci said. “I happened upon my current boss, Hillary McPartlon. I was just so attracted to her vision for inclusivity of gender in this industry and her high standards for workplace culture.”
Karen has been working in the roofing industry for years and has an impressive background. Not only is she the COO here at RCS, but she also has her own consulting business, Casimir Group. Her journey in the roofing industry and adapting to this male-dominated industry was not an easy one. “I'm 5'8". I wore couple inch heels too because I wanted to look men in the eye or look down on them, and I used that to my advantage quite often,” she said. “There are things that you shouldn't even have to do, but you do.”
Although Mackenzie was encouraged to join her family’s roofing business by her father, she attributes the success of their company to the matriarchs of the family. “My great-grandmother, Ann Beldon, started the business with my great-grandfather, Morry Beldon,” she said. “She actually was very involved in the day-to-day. She did not have a college degree, but the business was successful because of how she ran it.”
LeeAnn’s background was in wall panel manufacturing before she moved into the roofing industry. While she was nervous at first about entering the industry with minimal knowledge, she found that her coworkers at ATAS International were still very supportive. She wants young people interested in joining the industry to learn from her experience of being inexperienced.
“I was so concerned about (my lack of experience), and they were not at all concerned,” she said. “That's what I would like to tell the younger people as well, to not let something like that sway you from applying for a job because what you think might be a big deal, really might not.”
Listen to the entire Coffee Conversations to hear more from these incredible women about their experiences in roofing and their collective push for inclusivity in the industry.
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