Manufacturer report courtesy of Johnson Controls
The HVAC industry is a very secure field with a positive job outlook. In fact, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of HVAC mechanics and installers is projected to grow 5% from 2020 to 2030, with more than 38,000 job openings estimated each year on average over the next decade. Despite the vast opportunity, women remain significantly underrepresented — only making up 1.5% of HVAC mechanics and installers in 2021. Johnson Controls is actively working to increase the number of women in HVAC through education and initiatives that support gender diversity, including the company’s Women’s Global Network and Women in Ops group. This includes a special focus on increasing the representation of women in leadership positions. In fact, in 2019, Johnson Controls announced they intend to double the representation of women leaders globally over the next five years. In addition, Johnson Controls is a sponsor of the Women in HVACR program.
“Johnson Controls is committed to building a diverse and inclusive team that will help us continue to attract the best talent and drive best-in-class performance of our products and services,” said Sophia Bellos, vice president, product management, Ducted Systems, Johnson Controls. “I’m proud to work for a company that believes a diverse workforce makes us a stronger, more robust company, and we’re dedicated to living out this belief.”
Part of living out that belief is recognizing the remarkable professionals making a difference in the HVAC industry. In honor of International Women’s Day, Johnson Controls is shining a light on three of them.
Kristin Gallup is the factory direct marketing manager for the YORK distribution channel at Johnson Controls, Inc. She has been involved in the HVAC industry for over 15 years and has extensive experience in multiple verticals of distribution and manufacturing. She offers a unique perspective to the industry and is passionate about helping contractors grow their businesses. She is driven by her love of building relationships and using her expertise to make her customer’s lives easier. Many of her clients describe her as being their champion and fully dedicated to their growth and success.
Kristin truly excels in working with dealers to assist them in strategizing and differentiating their businesses in the rapidly growing national marketplace. In these relationships, she fosters an environment of collaboration, trust, and partnership at all levels. She not only covers the marketing for 12 regions across the United States, but she is also heavily invested in sales execution and dealer retention in the field.
She recognizes that the HVAC industry has historically been perceived as being male dominant, but the opportunities for women today are vast, lucrative, and essential. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Women in HVACR and is actively involved in mentoring, recruiting, and fostering educational opportunities for its members.
Outside of work, Kristin enjoys cooking, traveling, hiking, skiing, and spending time with her family and friends. She has an adorable dog named Presley that joins her and her husband in all their adventures.
Anne Ciemny is a savvy, team-oriented materials manager at the Johnson Controls residential HVAC manufacturing facility in Wichita, Kan. She started her career at the company in 2005 as a payroll specialist, shortly moving into a master scheduling role the following year. While the majority of her adult life had been focused on manufacturing, it was this new position in 2006 that kicked off her career in materials. Today, she utilizes her experience as an analyst and leader to ensure company inventory is optimized and efficient to meet current and future demands. Problem solving is where Anne thrives in her current role. She is passionately committed to digging into issues and identifying root cause, then being a part of the change to correct those opportunities.
Being a woman in a male-dominated field never stopped her from achieving her goals. Anne believes that everyone has a place in manufacturing and will face some challenges along the way, regardless of gender. The advice she gives to women looking to enter the field is to trust yourself and always have data to back yourself up. As a leader, Anne describes herself as being supportive and willing to move any barriers that stand in her team’s way. She believes in her team completely and encourages them to strive for excellence in everything that they do.
Outside of work, Anne spends time with her son, usually on the sidelines cheering him on, and she also enjoys teaching people to paint.
Kajal Prasad is a fearless and visionary leader within product design and software development with fierce ambition to advance the HVAC industry. This is seen every day in her management of the controls and electrical team in Johnson Controls Commercial Ducted Systems division. From initial concept to final delivery, Kajal is steadfastly committed to innovation and its impact on our customers’ lives. Before joining Johnson Controls, Kajal received her bachelor’s degree in electronics from Shivaji University in Kolhapur, India, and her master’s in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Soon after, she entered the oil and gas industry as a product designer and application developer before joining the HVAC industry as a controls software engineer. There she took digital technologies for high-tier home comfort products from concept to production.
Beyond leading the controls and electrical team, Kajal is the director of the Heartland chapter of the Women Global Network (WGN), a community that fosters inclusion, empowers women and develops the leadership skills of its members through intentional programming. Kajal works with her WGN peers to break down lingering gender stereotypes that may prevent women from entering the traditionally male-dominated engineering field. Through mentoring and networking, she’s building support for other women in a predominantly male field, as Kajal says, women may be perceived as less confident about their math and science abilities, even when they’re performing as well or outperforming their male peers. She encourages and inspires other women to speak up and get their ideas heard as well as take on the most challenging technical and leadership roles.
Outside of work, Kajal loves to travel with her family and take a closer look at the places she visits through her camera lens.