The HVAC-R industry has traditionally been male-dominated. In fact, according to the 2015 Bureau of Labor statistics, women represent only 1.7 percent of all people working in the industry. Despite that low number, women who are involved in the industry are beginning to notice an increase in more women becoming HVACR technicians and contractors, and taking on leadership roles with distributors, wholesalers, and manufacturers.
The long-standing stereotype that the role of a service technician is typically male is slowly starting to change. As more women join HVAC contracting companies, they are changing the perception and proving that the job isn’t just for men. These women are presenting themselves as strong, positive female role models for other women. Additionally, many trades schools, local and federal governments, and private institutions are helping to make it easier for women to train for jobs in AC maintenance, industrial air conditioning, and more. This drive to encourage women to become HVAC contractors and work in the industry has led to the formation of Women in HVACR, an organization that provides support, mentorship, scholarships, and helps women get into the industry. Through the organization, they connect with schools and help to make the HVAC industry less of a mystery to women and encourage women to consider it as a career choice. Meanwhile, HVAC companies themselves are trying to assist women in making the transition by hosting career fairs, awarding scholarships, and helping to support women new to the field.
Not every challenge of being a woman in a primarily male industry has been lifted, but the HVACR industry continues to further open its doors to women seeking a stable, well-paying career. With the increasing open-mindedness and equality, career opportunities, ownership abilities, and established support systems in place, more women are starting to take notice and consider the HVAC-R industry as a career. As the skilled trades shortage grows larger each day, it’s imperative to begin changing the perception of a woman’s ability to excel in the trade professions. For HVAC-R businesses to continue to grow they need to find enough quality employees for the future. Owners must look outside the industry’s preconceived idea of what a service technician looks like. It is exciting to see this transformation beginning to take place and to see more women getting involved and succeeding in the HVAC-R world.