As part of Women’s History Month, USGNN™ is highlighting some of the great women in the industry and their thoughts on why women are a valuable asset to the industry, as well as how to get more women involved.

Nancy Peterson—Azon

Nancy Peterson

Nancy Peterson, LEED green associate and director of market communications for Azon, has 22 years of industry experience. One of the biggest challenges she’s overcome in her professional career is not being taken seriously.

“…or having ideas be dismissed in meetings where you may be the only female,” she says. “The ups-and-downs of the economy can also be challenging, especially for marketers. In recent years, cybersecurity has become a concern for every segment, including manufacturing.”

She’s been excited to see the developments for women within the industry.

“Our industry has moved forward in the last 25 years with regard to women employed in leadership in the fenestration industry,” says Peterson. “In January 2019, Azon appointed Margaret Roberts as chief operating officer.”

Peterson describes the glass industry and building enclosure segment as fields typically dominated by men.

“More people could be encouraged to seek out careers in the glass industry,” she says, such as trade organizations that encourage women to take on leadership roles.

“I am a member of the National Association of Women in Construction, AIA Southwest Michigan and USGBC,” she adds.

Michelle Wilson—EFCO Corp.

Michelle Wilson, estimating and factory order manager for EFCO Corp., has been in the glass industry for 25 years. She’s been with the company from the beginning, and says she joined because she wanted to be a part of a strong company where she could grow her career. Technology is among the most exciting industry developments she’s witnessed throughout her 25-year career.

“It has changed the way we do business, provided quality improvements and greatly reduced the amount of time it takes to produce a project,” she says.

Advances in technology aren’t the only changes she’s noticed within the industry. Wilson says that a lot has changed for women over the years.

“[There are] more women in leadership, female architects, etc. [I’m] seeing more women express interest in drafting, project management and estimating roles,” she adds. “It is necessary in a prominently male based industry to have the diversity that women can bring to the table.”

Wilson says that women should consider joining the industry for the excitement.

“Every project is different from product, glass, performance requirements, etc., so it is something new every day,” she says.

To get more women involved, Wilson recommends recruiting young women through vocational technology programs at the high school level.

Stay tuned to USGNN™ throughout the week for more spotlights on women in the history in celebration of Women’s History Month.