Over the years while working in many phases of this industry, I have come to realize that one of the most often overlooked groups of people in our industry is the women who work for our companies. Many of these same women seldom or never make it into the lime light for the contributions they have made to keep our industry both whole and profitable.
One of these women works in the manufacturing and marketing side of the heating industry and when it comes to knowing her company’s products, whether it’s a furnace or boiler, she is on her game at all levels. In 2009, I had the distinct honor to present her with then NAOHSM Associate of the Year award (now Oil and Energy Service Professionals) for both her compassion and the many years of dedication to both this industry and a company. A true icon!
Most of the time I do not mention names, but I’m going to make an exception to my own rule. Julie, as she is known, doesn’t just work for a family oil company that was established in 1898 and located in Rhode Island; she is a vital link to its success. She arrived at this company out of high school and has been a faithful part of its success for several years. Julie always displays a take charge attitude and can make correct decisions on her own, weather it be service related, billing, budgets, or those ever nagging “What’s the price of oil?” calls.
Some I have witnessed during my business calls to this company and when you talk to the owner the company, you soon learn that Julie is recognized as one of the family and the life blood of the business’s success. Then there is Alice the co-owner and president of a family owned and operated supply company. Alice could well retire, but due to her dedication to her customers, she can be found daily at the counter greeting and serving their needs. Over the years Alice has gained a wealth of product knowledge and can assist in solving many trade related issues.
Take a moment after reading this article and reflect on a woman or women in your own company. Are they the ones that seldom receive any gratitude for what they do on a daily basis? Let’s not forget that many of these same women are wives and mothers at the end of the day! I would also call them company defenders. Why? Because they get to address every issue from the customer’s viewpoint and shield others from an often stressful and challenging situation, while maintaining the integrity of management and ownership.
Women rarely get to leave the office (except for lunch) unlike most of the owners and managers and are generally the last to know when it comes to a policy change. Sound familiar?
I recently had a credit card issue that involved over a thousand dollars in non-authorized charges that were applied to my company credit card. It too was processed and corrected by a woman from my own company. It’s been said that behind every good man is a woman. So to that end I agree and will close by saying hats off to all the women in the industry—let’s show our appreciation when they least expect it.