The third and final presentation of the 2020 Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply event showcased experience, advice and optimism for gender equality in a male-dominated industry.
Thursday's live presentation brought together a trio of successful industry leaders and members of the 2020 class of Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply:
• Gina Schaefer, owner of A Cool Few Hardware Stores, a chain of 13 stores in and around Washington, D.C.;
• Amy Smiley, VP of marketing for 84 Lumber; and
• Kimberly Scochin, channel marketing manager for GAF.
The panelists built on several of the themes introduced during days one and two of the virtual event, and added several of their own. For example, Schaefer shared an innovative approach that her business employs to measure and mitigate unconscious bias in hiring and pay. And Scochin described the empowering benefits of gaining expertise in various building material categories, encouraging women to "dive in and get their hands dirty."
The basic goal of the three-day event was to celebrate achievement and encourage advancement of women in the hardware and building supply industry.
Smiley explained why she feels fortunate to be in the LBM industry.
“As a woman I think we have an opportunity to not only shape the future of 84 Lumber, and also the future of the industry," she said. "This job and this industry is never boring. Some of the people I’ve met in the past few years are some of the best people I’ve ever met, and also the most interesting.”
A replay of the Thursday presentation, sponsored by GAF, can be accessed here.
"We are very honored to have played a role in bringing together all of our great panelists and to broadcast so many positive messages in the past three days," said HBSDealer's Amy Grant, who co-moderated the event. "The point was made several times this week and it deserves repeating: Diversity is more than just an ideal. It’s good for business and it’s good for the industry.”
HBSDealer's Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply program also recognized high performing women in awards for "Business Excellence" and "Rising Stars." The video highlight reel of honorees is below: