“If you’re the only woman in the room, there’s a reason that you're there," said Karen Meredith. "You’re important. And you should feel that way."
Meredith, the director of LBM sales at Memphis, Tenn.-based Orgill, said she has been in that position many times. She shared that insight during day two of the HBSDealer Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply event, which brought together industry leaders to discuss success and diversity and a changing world.
The event was organized to promote the advancement of women in the hardware and building supply industry, while also celebrating the achievement of top women in the industry.
Wednesday's panelists featured
• Karen Meredith, dir. Of LBM sales, Orgill
• Jean Fahy, Building materials division manager, Do it Best Corp.
• Margi Vagell, GMM and SVP Merchandising, Lowe’s; and
• Teesee Murray, VP of retail, Epicor
Sponsored by Epicor, the Day Two panel was moderated by HBSDealer's Amy Grant and Ken Clark.
The wide-ranging discussions included a variety of talking points, including:
• It’s really important that we reflect what our customer base as well as our associates look like in the field. And so we are making a lot of very purposeful actions and conversations around making sure.— from an assortment perspective and a talent perspective — in the stores and the store support centers that we reflect that customer base. And we’re really excited about the progress we’re making as a company.”
— Margi Vagell
• All the research that's out there proves that the more inclusive and diverse a team is, the better the result. It's about focusing on that value — that combination of problem-solving and innovation and moving forward as a team.
— Teesee Murray
• Most women need to trust their instincts, and be very clear what their strengths are. I really encourage women to trust their instincts and voice their opinion.“
— Jean Fahy
HBSDealer's Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply three-day event draws to a conclusion on Thursday with a panel presentation from industry leaders. Register for the event here.
Rising stars and business excellence honorees of the 2020 class of Top Women in Hardware & Building Supply are recognized here: