The reference "You've come a long way, baby" is often recognized as a slogan of women's liberation; interestingly, it was crafted in 1968 by Madison Avenue as the tagline of a then-new cigarette brand marketed to women.

While smoking may no longer be chic — according to the CDC, in 1970, about 33% of adult women smoked; today, that number has dropped to 11% — the catchphrase, developed by Leo Burnett for Virginia Slims, still captures the zeitgeist of women ascendency.

Virginia-SIn 1968, advertising agency Leo Burnett developed its first tag line for Virginia Slims, a new cigarette marketed toward women. (Print ads from the 1970s featured.)Today marks 113 years the world has celebrated “International Women’s Day” on March 8; the date was more fluid in the United States until 1980 when then-President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation declaring “the week of March 8” as “National Women’s History Week.”

The strides women have made economically, culturally, and professionally have been hard-fought, if not necessarily linear. Still, they are tangible and quantifiable. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women now comprise approximately 47% of the labor market, up nearly 60% from 1950. The thrust of that growth occurred as the Women’s Liberation Movement gained steam during the late 1960s and through the 1970s.

Those numbers are not as dramatic within roofing, but gains have been made nonetheless. The National Roofing Contractors Association says that in 2019, women made up approximately 2% of the roofing labor force, which is one point more than a decade prior. While not dramatic, gains over losses remain a benchmark of improvement. In the mid-1990s, women made up less than 0.5% of the roofing labor force, according to a historical market analysis by the Labor Department. The BLS says in 2022, there were 131,980 roofers in the U.S., which means nearly 13,200 of those individuals were women. While not overwhelming, it is now double the number during the Clinton administration. 

Like many other industries, roofing has long been dominated by men. Unfortunately, women in roofing face the same pay disparities as in other fields nationwide. According to a report published by the American Association of University Women in 2022, women earn, on average, only 83 cents for every dollar earned by men. This figure has improved only slightly over the past decade.

So, yes, ladies, you have come a long way, and while there's more progress to be made, the victories are worth celebrating.

In honor of International Women’s Day, Roofing Contractor has combed through a year’s worth of news, features, photo galleries, and videos to bring you some of the highlights. The lineup is in no particular order; each illustrates how much road has been gained since 1994. 

Happy 113th International Women’s Day!

WOMEN IN THE NEWS . . . . . . .

Devri Pieratt Named NWiR’s 2024 WORLD Award Veteran

Item 1 - Devri-Pieratt-WORLD-Award.pngDevri Pieratt of Integrity Insurance & Bonding Inc. won the 2024 NWiR WORLD Award Veteran for her leadership and perseverance in the roofing industry. Amanda Veinott of Maven Roofing & Exteriors was honored with the Rising Star award for her impactful contributions and dedication to challenging industry norms.

Beacon's Top 5 Candidates for 2023 Female Roofing Professional of the Year

Item 2 - Beacon-Women-Pros-2023-Image.pngBeacon Building Products announced its top five 2023 Female Roofing Professional of the Year candidates. The winner received the $10,000 grand prize; the four finalists each received $1,000. Last year's winner, Michelle Ly Hall, co-owner of Hall Roofing and Construction, was later featured in an RC profile, which is a few articles down.

NWiR, Actor Meg Ryan Highlight Roofing Career Opportunities for Women

Image 3 - NWiR-2023-video-Empowered.pngNational Women in Roofing gained national attention with a Fox Business video hosted by Meg Ryan, highlighting the meaningful opportunities available to women in the roofing industry, with insights from industry leaders like Sarah Weiss and Renae Bales emphasizing the increasing role of women and the diverse career paths within the field.

Making the Most of Mistakes

Image 4 - MD-Feature-Img02-900.jpgSara Klindtworth, a roofing entrepreneur and principal of Solid Roofing NW in Salem, Ore., emphasizes the importance of recognizing and handling mistakes in business and the significance of learning and growing from past experiences. Despite challenges as a female contractor, Klindtworth emphasizes persistence, problem-solving, and maintaining a positive attitude to navigate hurdles in a male-dominated field.

Young Gun Liz Garza: Success Through Learning

Image 5 - YG-Img05-900.jpgLiz Garza, director of marketing at My Roofing Crew and a 2023 RC Young Gun, thrives in her multifaceted role as an advocate for women in the roofing industry. Garza engaged in a Q&A, discussing the importance of branding, marketing, and cultivating a positive company culture while also recognizing the challenges and opportunities presented by her age and gender.

Young Gun Lee Lipniskis

Image 6 - YG-Lipniskis-900 (1).jpgLee Lipniskis, owner of Levello Construction, leverages her extensive experience in risk management and insurance to establish her own general contracting company, focusing on residential exterior systems in Denver, Colo. Named a 2023 Young Gun, Lipniskis emphasizes a commitment to client experience and is actively involved in National Women in Roofing, aiming to bridge gaps in the industry and fuel growth and expansion.

Profile: Michelle Ly Hall, The Right Adjustment

Image 7 - MichelleLy-30-900x550.jpgMichelle Ly Hall, co-owner of Hall Roofing and Construction, challenges stereotypes in the roofing industry by personally conducting roof inspections. She confronts skepticism with professionalism and expertise. Despite initial surprise, she embraces the opportunity to change perceptions and has earned recognition as the 2023 "Female Roofing Professional of the Year," highlighting her commitment to excellence and community involvement.

VIDEOS . . . . . . .

Harness & Heels in Roofing

Image 8 - Harness and Heels.jpgKristina Hill, co-owner of Homeshield Roofing & Exteriors, actively promotes women's involvement in the roofing industry through her Facebook group, "Harness & Heels." The online collective offers education, support, and community for women across North America. With more than 1,600 members, the group aims to empower women in roofing and plans to expand with regional events and an online membership directory.

How to Build a Better Workforce

Image 9 - Better Workforce.jpgLetitia Hanke, owner of ARS Roofing, Gutters & Solar, has overcome challenges of sexism and racism as a black woman in the roofing industry to celebrate 25 years in roofing, earn recognition, and establish the LIME Foundation. At the 2022 Best of Success conference, she emphasized the importance of mentorship and vocational training, advocating for a dynamic and diversified workforce in roofing.

PHOTO GALLERY . . . . . . .

National Women in Roofing at IRE 2024

Image 10 - NWiR at IRE.JPGNational Women in Roofing's seventh annual NWiR Days in Las Vegas saw over 450 attendees participating in more than 40 educational sessions, providing valuable insights ranging from hands-on demonstrations of roofing materials to discussions on leadership and fostering inclusivity. The event fostered connections and promoted a supportive environment within the roofing industry, showcasing the energy and enthusiasm of its participants.

To learn more about International Women's Day, visit