By Adam Cabrera.
In this episode of Roofing Road Trips, Heidi J. Ellsworth takes a trip across the globe to speak with Jenny Maxwell, chairperson of New Zealand Women in Roofing (NZWiR). A unique organization in the male-dominated roofing industry of New Zealand, the organization provides opportunities and support for women in this sector. Together, Heidi and Jenny discuss the role and impact of NZWiR as well as what the future has in store for it.
Jenny, who started a roofing company with her husband in 2009, has been leading the Roofing Association of New Zealand since 2020. "I was approached to put my hand up and looked to actually go on to the executive, which I did in 2016. So here I am, all those years later, and just about to go into another two-year term as president," she says.
The idea of NZWiR was inspired by Jenny’s visit to the National Women in Roofing Day event in the U.S. It sparked a passion in her to foster a similar supportive network for women in the roofing industry in New Zealand. "It really made me passionate. It really stirred something in me," Jenny says. Despite New Zealand's small size and the isolation many in the industry might feel, Jenny believes that the NZWiR has the potential to bring people together.
To further encourage women in the industry, NZWiR introduced a scholarship for first-time attendees to the Roofing Association of New Zealand’s annual conference, providing them an opportunity to see the industry as a whole. Along with this, they're launching a new scholarship this November for a leadership and adventure course called Outward Bound, promoting both personal and professional growth.
The NZWiR follows the four pillars of recruiting, mentoring, education and networking, similar to its U.S. counterpart. Jenny’s vision and the initiatives of NZWiR not only seek to empower women in the roofing industry but also significantly contribute to the industry's growth and development in New Zealand.
Adam Cabrera is a writer and podcast producer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When he isn't writing about roofs he enjoys camping in the Rocky Mountains, going to concerts and playing music.
New Zealand Women in Roofing is a not for profit volunteer-based organization that supports and enhances the careers of women within the roofing industry. We provide networking, mentoring, education and recruitment opportunities from the rooftop to the office. For the young professional at the start of her career to the seasoned manager. Through our commitment to connect and empower woman in roofing, we contribute to the overall betterment and professionalism of the roofing industry in New Zealand.
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