The National Glass Association and the National Fenestration Rating Council have combined efforts and formed the Women in Fenestration LinkedIn group to support women in the fenestration industry. This group provides a platform for women to connect and share resources.
- The “Broken Rung” = for every 100 men promoted from entry-level roles to manager, only 87 women were promoted; only 82 women of color received that promotion.
- Women report they face much more scrutiny about their qualifications than men do and these microaggressions prevent them from moving higher up in the organizations.
- Women are more likely to be mistaken for a more junior position.
- Women provide more employee support that improves employee retention and satisfaction – and that company benefit is rarely acknowledged or rewarded. Meanwhile, this is leading to burnout.
- For every woman at the director level who is promoted up, two women directors are leaving their companies, due to the above reasons.
According to the National Association of Women in Construction, women account for 10.9 percent of the entire U.S. construction industry. On the plus side, compared to the national average where women’s salaries are 82.9 percent of men’s salaries, in construction, women make 95.5 percent what men make. I can’t speak to the fenestration industry because we do not yet have statistics on this. But even if the industry is closer to the construction percentage than the national average, for anyone thinking “Oh, 95.5 percent is close enough” – ask yourself how you would feel about taking a 4.5 percent pay cut for no good reason.
Addressing and gaining equality cannot be left to the majority. How do we know this? Because it has not and is not happening without direct action from women.
I keep thinking about the scene in the movie Erin Brockovich where Erin’s boss tells her not to take something personally in the case. Her response nailed it. “Not personal? That is my work, my sweat and my time away from my kids – if that is not personal, I don’t know what is.” Like Ms. Brockovich, I am passionate about my job, and I am tired of people telling me to tone down my passion and emotion. If you are professional in your delivery, there is nothing wrong with bringing energy and passion to your career.
So, to the women in the industry: Are you looking for a mentor in the profession – or looking to be a mentor? Have you run into a tricky situation and need advice from people who may have had the same experience? Are you looking to share ideas, strategies and tips for success?
Our colleagues at NGA have come up with some additional potential topics for discussion:
- Include women as part of your hiring process – and encourage applications from women?
- Get equal opportunities for exposure where you want it: shop floor, field, in-office, etc.? (Interests can guide them anywhere, not previously held beliefs, norms)
- Create a safe workplace for women to address issues as they arise?
- Invest in professional development and provided educational opportunities for women?
- Recommend women leads for key roles and projects?
- Advocate for women and their ideas and give them proper credit?
Women in the fenestration industry are invited to join the group and participate in these discussions as well as any other conversation of interest!
There are three ways to join:
- Click here to join the group: Women in Fenestration LinkedIn Group,
- Search for “Women in Fenestration” on LinkedIn, or
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invitation.
I look forward to all who are interested in joining the conversations!
Women in Fenestration: Who is Your Superhero?
April 25, 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern
Join the next NFRC Women in Fenestration event, which will focus on superheroes who have lifted you up and helped you get where you are today. Learn more and register for this free event.