MILWAUKEE — Women who enter the HVAC industry often face a unique set of challenges in what was previously a male-dominated field. Johnson Controls has worked to tear down those misconceptions by educating and empowering women in HVAC.

That commitment was in action recently as Johnson Controls welcomed women from across North America for its second Women in HVAC event of 2018. The inspirational two-day program provided educational and networking opportunities for contractors, distributors, service technicians, engineers, and sales and marketing professionals.

Attendees gained first-hand experience in manufacturing, testing, and servicing of residential and commercial equipment from the YORK®, Luxiare®, and Coleman® brands. Training workshops included tours of Johnson Control’s Norman, Oklahoma, and Wichita, Kansas plants. The biannual summit is a part of the company’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.

“There is so much to learn and so much opportunity to grow within the industry,” said Erin Reich, a recent mechanical engineering graduate and sales engineer at Johnstone Supply who was among the women in attendance.

Johnson Controls has been at the forefront of recruiting women to pursue careers in HVAC. The company created a Women’s Resource Network nearly a decade ago, which has grown into a global organization with mentors and groups worldwide. The company established 10 business resource groups to support and empower a diverse workforce including veterans, the disabled and multicultural groups.

“The idea of inclusion is not only good for women, it’s good for our industry and is a value that is embraced throughout our company, said Liz Haggerty, vice president and general manager, Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls. “A dynamic and diverse workforce brings unique perspectives that are essential for success. We’re proud to support this tremendous network of women and the diverse group that makes our industry incredible.

“There are opportunities for both men and women alike to grow and advance within this industry, but we all must overcome the idea that this is a male-driven environment," Haggerty added. "One of our company goals is to not only supply women with the educational tools required to manage their jobs, but also provide peer support and mentorship – for both men and women – to help them excel in their careers.”

In 2016, Johnson Controls launched several initiatives aimed at increasing representation, development, inclusion, and advancement of women in STEM roles within the company and industry. This included its “Connect with the Coolest Women in the World," an inspiring panel discussion and networking event held at the 2018 AHR Expo.

Publication date: 10/23/18

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