Last week, Hayley Fink, Rocky Mountain Project Engineer, Katie Ludeman, Rocky Mountain Project Manager, and Sarabeth Gandara, Rocky Mountain Preconstruction Engineer, attended the first-ever Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) conference in Chicago, IL.
The conference, hosted by the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA), took place over three days and included a full program of keynote speakers and work sessions to empower the over-160 women in attendance. Attendees networked with industry peers and discussed perspectives on work-life balance, responsibilities, challenges they face and solutions.
On the second day of the conference, Sarabeth Gandara spoke on a panel titled “Recruiting Women into the Mechanical and HVACR Service Industry.” Gandara was joined by Jon Finch, Moderator and VP of Training & Recruiting at Milwaukee Tool, Ashley Martin, Senior VP of Sales at NIBCO, Wendy Glauber, General Counsel & HR Director at John W. Danforth Company, and Laura Ceja, Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator at the United Association.
At the discussion, Gandara told the story of how she found her way into the mechanical contracting industry and answered questions about what was important to her in the recruiting and interview process, what she was looking for in potential mechanical contracting employers and why she selected U.S. Engineering.
“It was such a great opportunity to speak on behalf of girls coming into the industry and U.S. Engineering as a whole,” Gandara said. “It was also an honor to sit next to the successful and inspiring women on the panel.”
After the panel discussion, dinner and drinks were hosted by the Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago at Joe’s Live. As attendees entered the venue, they packed “Success Bags” for women graduating from the apprenticeship program in Chicago. The “Success Bags” included safety glasses, gloves, notebooks, etc., and a handwritten note of encouragement from a fellow woman in the industry.
Learn more about the conference and the Mechanical Contractors Association here.