It’s no secret that home performance is a male-dominated industry. Attend any industry conference and you’ll quickly see that women are vastly outnumbered. That being said, there are still women in the industry—and those women certainly hold their own. As the assistant editor for Home Energy magazine, I too can claim to be a woman in home performance. Yes, a lot of my experience comes from being on the sidelines, but I do make it a point to visit job sites occasionally and see actual installation work being done.

Nearly two years ago, I attended a regional ACI event in Sacramento and sat in a room where the Women in Home Performance initiative was in its infancy. The leaders of the discussion asked the women, and men, in the room why they had decided to attend a meeting about women in home performance. The answers given weren’t surprising; they included to find support, to make sure women have a place at the table, to network, to receive nurturing, and to share stories.

In my opinion, it’s the storytelling among women in our industry that harnesses the most power to encourage and support us. The more we share with one another, the more we can learn from one another, and the better we can all become at what we do.

With that in mind, I set out to discover what the most common gender-specific obstacles to jobs in home performance were by asking women to describe the biggest obstacles they have faced since they entered the field.

Women and men: What gender-specific obstacles have you seen or experienced in your home performance careers?

This forum question is an excerpt from a recent Home Energy magazine article, “Let’s Talk Gender: What Women Bring to Home Performance” by Macie Melendez. You can read the article in full, with a subscription, on HomeEnergy.org.

Tags: career, gender, home, in, obstacles, performance, women

Views: 112

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

ACI has a webpage for their Women in Home Performance initiative: http://www.affordablecomfort.org/women

I recently was working on a project, dominated by men, in which one woman was a contributor. Now, I'm not privy to all the details, but at some point, I noticed that the email string no longer included her. I brought this up casually by email, and there was basically no response. Now this could have nothing to do with gender bias or such issues, but it certainly set off alarms in my head. As a father to an amazing daughter and husband to a terrifically talented and intelligent wife, I want them to be at the table in all fields. As Tom pointed out, I think one of the biggest issues is unexamined privilege on the part of most men, who do not understand the issues that women often face, particularly when outnumbered and bullied.

Another thing that bothered me recently was at the ACI 2014 National Home performance conference in Detroit. In the large session where the merits of 62.2 were being debated, one of the panel (I won't mention who) began with a sexist joke, which drew many guffaws from the audience. Not only do I wish these "jokes" weren't being made, I also wish that we were not reinforcing them with raucous laughter. I know for a fact that one of my women friends in home performance, both expected a sexually inappropriate joke from this guy and was, of course, offended.    

Ally in Home Performance

RSS

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Laurie DiDonato posted an event
Thumbnail

HERS Rater Training at Online and United Illuminating Company

June 1, 2015 at 9am to June 18, 2015 at 4pm
The Northeast HERS Alliance is offering a NEW Hybrid Rater training course designed to prepare…See More
2 hours ago
Paul Raymer's blog post was featured

Shades of Gray in Residential Construction Morality

I was called in to perform a last minute duct test for a modular home builder.  He was all in a…See More
3 hours ago
Charlie Hewitt's blog post was featured

Residential Electric Load Disaggregation

“What gets measured gets managed” is a quote often attributed to the venerable management expert…See More
3 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined Evan Mills's group
Thumbnail

Home Energy Ratings

Calculating them; visualizing them; explaining them; selling them .... there is a lot to discuss…See More
21 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined James Sayers's group
Thumbnail

Marketing Energy Efficiency

Sharing ideas, tools and examples of promoting energy efficiency to consumersSee More
21 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
21 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined Leslie McDowell, BPI's group
Thumbnail

Building Performance Institute (BPI)

BPI is the nation's premier standards development, quality assurance and credentialing organization…See More
21 hours ago
Paul Haasz joined Sean Lintow Sr's group
Thumbnail

Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what…See More
22 hours ago

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service