Contracting Business/Kelly L Faloon
Ahr2023 Women 63ef9a316f00a

AHR 2023: Women in the HVACR Industry

Feb. 17, 2023
Adding more women to the HVACR industry can help alleviate the ongoing skilled labor challenge.

The HVACR industry has a tremendous opportunity to recruit women into the industry, but the industry also can make adjustments so women are more comfortable contributing their ideas, noted a panel of Women in HVACR members Feb. 8 at the 2023 AHR Expo in Atlanta. Erica Leanor (Goodleap), Laurelyn Arriaga (Women in HVACR board member) and Kristin Gallup (Carrier) explained that the organization is focused on providing HVACR women with networking, education and mentoring opportunities to advance their careers.

“The power of language has a large impact on how women are seen in the industry,” noted Leanor. “It takes seven seconds to make a first impression, and many women are labeled in those seven seconds.”

Labels such as emotional, bossy or weak put women in a bad light; passionate, intentional, resourceful and strategic are less derogatory ways to describe women.

“Mentorship from others in the HVAC industry allows women to understand that there are promotion and educational opportunities for them,” Leanor said. “Pay it forward!”

Gallup said that the industry has a “huge” opportunity to hire women. “Of the 12% of women in the HVACR industry, only 2% are in the field. Infiltrating high schools and trade schools to highlight the career potential of HVAC can help with our skilled labor shortage.”

She noted that the Women in HVACR’s Ambassador program helps in that respect by highlighting the lucrative career paths available in HVAC.

And Arriaga explained that “investing in yourself” by membership in a trade organization helps women grow in the industry and gives them a sense of belonging.

About the Author

Kelly L. Faloon | Freelance Writer/Editor

Kelly L. Faloon is a contributing editor and writer to ContractorContracting Business magazine and HPAC Engineering and principal of Faloon Editorial Services. The former editor of Plumbing & Mechanical magazine, Faloon has more than 26 years of experience in the plumbing and heating industry and more than 35 years in B2B publishing. She started a freelance writing and editing business in 2017, where she has a varied clientele.

Faloon spent 3 1/2 years at Supply House Times before joining the Plumbing & Mechanical staff in 2001. Previously, she spent nearly 10 years at CCH/Wolters Kluwer, a publishing firm specializing in business and tax law, where she wore many hats — proofreader, writer/editor for a daily tax publication, and Internal Revenue Code editor.

A native of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula, Faloon is a journalism graduate of Michigan State University. You can reach her at [email protected].

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