A panel of National Women in Roofing (NWIR) members are examining the crucial issue about expanding diversity in the roofing industry.

Women leaders in the industry will present “How to Get Women on the Roof – Successful Strategies & Case Studies” on Feb. 5 at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The panel will share real-life experiences from a contractor’s perspective.

Whether it be through attention to detail, enhancing professionalism, or bringing a fresh perspective on safety, women on the roof are a tremendous asset to a crew and to the bottom line. This panel will include a discussion on successful strategies to incorporate women into roofing crews by re-imagining operations through the lens of a female. Other topics will include policy and procedure adaptations needed to recruit and retain women in the workforce and how these changes will improve creativity, productivity and profitability.

With only 9% of the construction industry made up of women and the roofing industry showing even smaller percentages, NWIR has been working to recruit more women to the industry while empowering the women who are working in the industry. 

IRE Session WE14

Title: How to Get Women on the Roof—Successful Strategies & Case Studies
Speakers: Renae Bales, Michelle Boykin, Mardee Billingsley, Hilary Morgan, Jennifer Stone
Date: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Room: C140

“We believe that women should consider roofing for a career,” said Michelle Boykin, COO of Rackley Roofing and one of the panelists. “At Rackley, we are working every day to have women employed from the rooftop to the boardroom. It is critical for a good balance and with the labor shortage it is just common sense.”

Serving on the NWIR executive committee as treasurer, Boykin has been active in the association from the beginning. 

“As soon as I heard about NWIR, I wanted to be involved,” Boykin said. “Rackley Roofing is committed to diversity, technology and an overall strong culture, NWIR was the perfect association for our involvement.”

As Boykin leads this panel, she shares that they are really committed to helping attendees understand how to get more women on the roof, and taking the time to ask women who work on the roof, what do they recommend?

“It’s all about how we move forward not just talking about it,” concluded Boykin.

The other panelists include:

  • Jennifer Stone, NWIR Chairperson. Preferred Accounts Manager, Roofing Systems of Johns Manville, Sacramento, Calif. Stone spent 15 years in sales and marketing then jumped to something she was more passionate about: roofing and the built environment. She is a LEED AP and holds her GRP from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.
  • Mardee Billingsley, NWIR Membership Chairperson. Executive Vice President of Tremco Roofing & Building Maintenance, Hudson, Ohio. Billingsley is an experienced roofing professional now at the level of executive vice president.  She has a demonstrated history of working in the building materials industry with strong professional skills in administration, negotiation, sales, problem solving, project estimation, construction and management. 
  • Renae Bales, NWIR Vice Chairperson. Vice President of Brand & Risk, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, Dallas. Bales has been with the KPost team for 11 years and works closely with the team managing brand and outside risk for both the commercial and residential divisions. She holds a bachelor of business administration degree from Bellevue University.
  • Hilary Morgan, NWIR General Counsel. Partner, Cotney Construction Law, Tampa, Fla. Morgan represents clients in all aspects of construction law including lien law, surety bond law, litigation, arbitration, construction defects, contract review and drafting, delay claims, bid protests, design professional liability, corporate law, and administrative law. Hilary’s construction roots run deep; her family operated a ladder manufacturing company for over 100 years.