At the recent annual AHR Expo in Chicago, Johnson Controls hosted multiple events to discuss the issues and opportunities facing women in the HVACR industry.
“Our industry as a whole has very few women. In fact within the ASHRAE membership my understanding is that less than one percent are women,” said Renee Joseph, vice president of global customer and sales enablement. “Given this and the large audience of over 70,000 people that attended the show, we viewed this as an excellent venue to bring this topic to the forefront.
The goal was twofold: First to create awareness about the impact of this industry, which touches the lives of people across the globe where they live, work and play by making them safe, secure and comfortable, and showcase the key role women can play in this space. The second goal was to create a network of women in the industry, providing them with an opportunity to connect.
The Johnson Controls hosted events included a panel discussion on male advocacy, moderated by Jo Birtwistle of Johnson Controls and featuring panelists Eric Stromquist of Stromquist and Company, Julian Palacios of Johnson Controls, and Talbot Gee of HARDI. The discussion highlighted how industry leaders are driving a cultural shift and incorporating unique initiatives into the fabric of their businesses.A second panel showcasing the perspective of female leaders on increasing industry inclusion was moderated by Alex Runner of Johnson Controls, and featured panelists Chrissy Nardini of American Metals Supply, Linda Shaw of Regal Beloit and Liz Haggerty of Johnson Controls. Both panels had packed audiences, with overflow onto the show floor.
An evening networking event was open to women in the industry and provided a great opportunity for women at all levels to connect and discuss bringing more women into the industry. The two hour event was attended by approximately 130 industry professionals.
During the event, Renee Joseph and Jennifer Stentz, vice president of global sales and operations, addressed the group, saying “The one thing we can all agree on is that we need more women in this industry. We need to do more to talk about this industry.
“It’s great to see the involvement and excitement,” Stentz said. “There are so few of us here that we need to know each other. We need to work together to promote the industry. We certainly have room for more talented and successful women here.