Conversations from the Edge: The Women Powering the Future of HVAC

While the HVAC industry is largely dominated by men, women are seeing their numbers grow in the sector. To talk about diversity and inclusion in HVAC, host Hilary Kennedy welcomed Gwen Smothers, Business Systems and Implementation Manager for Piedmont Service Group, and Ali McGee, Business Systems Assistant for Piedmont Service Group.

Women currently account for only 9% of workers in an industry that can benefit from different perspectives.

“Diversity in the workplace provides a great resource for companies to profit from new ideas and approaches. The best ideas come from people with different experiences, from different walks of life, who look and sound different and come together to focus on one mission.” Smothers said.

There is a huge need for trade workers right now, and the HVAC industry would benefit by broadening the spectrum of the conversation at companies to include diverse viewpoints and ideas.

There are programs targeted toward bringing women into the industry through mentorships, scholarships, trade schools and professional organizations like Women In HVAC, but more can be done to support women entering the industry.

Smothers considers herself a “change manager” who is always looking for innovative processes and procedures. In a growing industry, making these changes is necessary to stay competitive. Smothers points out that implementing new technology isn’t always easy, as workers can be resistant to change.

Working in a male-dominated industry can be challenging for women, but there are many positive aspects of the work that allow women to thrive in the industry. Mentorship and support from other women are key to bringing more women into the industry and creating a diverse workplace.

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