Category: Women in the Mechanical Industry

WiMI Mentor Program Educates and Inspires Industry Women

The WiMI mentoring program provides a unique opportunity for young professional women in our industry to connect with a seasoned executive who can help foster mentee career development and leadership growth. The mentor will serve as an advisor and role model for the mentee.

Mentees will receive personalized advice and guidance to help achieve their full potential and become future leaders in our industry. They will also gain a broader support network of industry experts.

Our goal is to pair mentors and mentees by early January 2020.  Once paired, mentees will be notified and receive the Mentor/Mentee Program Guidelines, which will outline responsibilities and best practices for getting the most out of this working relationship.

This program will help guide our industry into the future with a diverse, exciting group of women who may have never connected otherwise. It will enable women from all spectrums of the mechanical and HVACR service industry to connect and learn from each other through support, guidance and counsel.  The value of your MCAA membership will be increased through sharing, educating and inspiring each other.

If you would like to participate, please complete the application and return to MCAA as soon as possible.

Hear from the First Female NFL Coach at MCAA2020

Dr. Jen Welter draws from her trailblazing journey to deliver memorable insights on the far-reaching benefits of being an authentic leader, focusing on one’s goals and cultivating a champion’s mindset. With stories drawn from her experiences on and off the field, Welter inspires and enlightens audiences with insights on breaking barriers, achieving what others say is impossible and the true value of diverse teams. The first female coach in NFL history, Welter serves as a powerful role model and an inspiring reminder that barriers are meant to be broken. This session is sponsored by Women in the Mechanical Industry. Find other WiMI-sponsored events planned for MCAA2020 and learn more about Welter on our convention website.

MCAMW Establishes Local WiMI Program

Inspired by the 2019 MCAA WiMI Conference in June, the MCA of Metropolitan Washington (MCAMW) is establishing a local program that will allow women in the mechanical contracting industry to come together, network, and share common goals to help each other succeed.

As a kickoff, the MCAMW hosted a luncheon for their female contractor members to meet and discuss the goals of the new initiative.

Through communication with other associations and conversations on the local level, they are confident that they can create a strong network for the women in their area.

WiMI Mentor Program Off to a Great Start

WiMI launched the Mentor Program last week and have received a strong response! There’s still time to volunteer as a Mentor. Mentors will provide immense value to Mentees, plus there are mutually rewarding benefits to be gained by the Mentor.  They will develop skills as a teacher and advisor, enhancing both personal and professional growth. Mentors will be learning from their Mentee, building connections, developing a support network and gaining new perspectives on the industry. And, most importantly, Mentors will be giving back to the industry to ensure other women succeed and become our future industry leaders while supporting our WiMI initiative and getting involved!


Here are some things to know about the WiMI Mentor Program:
  • To participate, complete the attached participation form and return to Barbara Dolim ( as soon as possible
  • Once we receive a sufficient number of Mentors, we will be reaching out to prospective Mentees
  • As soon as you are paired with a Mentee, you will receive information on the Mentee and a Mentor/Mentee Guidebook which will include a Program Responsibility Form. One key component of this form will be a confidentiality statement to ensure all personal or company information remains confidential.
  • It is highly recommended that you commit to the program for a minimum of six (6) months.
  • You may periodically be asked for feedback regarding your experiences as a Mentor and requested to complete an evaluation form.

MCAA and WiMI Partner with the UA at Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference

Representatives from MCAA and its Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) initiative joined the UA at the 2019 Tradeswomen Build Nations conference (formerly Women Build Nations) for the second year. The event, which took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from October 4-6, 2019, was sponsored by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU).

More than 2,600 union tradeswomen came together to network and learn from each other, including more than 400 UA journeywomen and apprentices, business managers and agents supporting their locals.

UA General President Mark McManus addressed the UA group on Saturday, saying, “the diversity in our work and local unions is going to continue to grow in our United Association.” He was joined by the Laura Ceja, National Recruitment and Outreach Coordinator; Cheryl Ambrose, Health, Safety and Environmental Administrator, and Jill Timushka, National Manager of Youth, Diversity and Indigenous Relations at UA Canada.

The conference included a banner parade celebrating the skilled trades in attendance in addition to workshops addressing diversity and leadership.  Mark McManus and Laura Ceja spoke to all of the attendees at Sunday’s Final Plenary Session.

MCAA and the UA sponsored Saturday night’s event for the UA attendees at Gameworks in the Mall of America®. Members of MCAA’s WiMI Steering Committee Steering Committee attended the event, which included MILWAUKEE TOOL’s tool raffle and a photo booth sponsored by LAARS, a Bradford White Company.

MCAA and the WiMI Steering Committee look forward to continuing their partnership with the UA to support this trailblazing event next year in Washington, D.C.


WiMI Has Arrived!

The first annual Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) Conference was held on June 24 – 26 in Chicago, Illinois. The conference was a huge success with over 160 women leaders from member companies in attendance. Mandi Wilkins, the Executive Vice President of MCA of Las Vegas, exclaimed the conference was “akin to two days of TED talks just for women. A lot of important education and reminders for us busy ladies. I can’t wait until next year’s conference, even though I am not sure how you will top this.”

Attendees were welcomed the first night by WiMI Chair Kori Gormley-Huppert and MCAA President Brian Helm. The opening session featured a captivating presentation by Col. Nicole Malachowski (USAF, Ret.), the first female pilot to fly with the Air Force Thunderbird aerial demonstration team. She provided a fascinating narrative of exactly what it took to be a woman vanguard and break tradition. Nicole offered actionable tools and real-world lessons about pursuing her dream and making choices; all while building a family and achieving success in a career where few women had gone before.

Tuesday morning featured Stacey Hanke, author of “Influence Redefined,” who presented a thought-provoking session on her powerful Influence Model, a step-by-step method for improving communication and producing the ideal type of influence—one that moves people to action long after an interaction is over.

Tuesday afternoon, attendees had the choice of various roundtable discussions on topics of particular interest to them. Topics included Work/Life Balance; Working in a Family Owned Business; Technology; Advancing Your Career; Leadership Strategies; Working in a Male Dominated Industry and Benefits of WiMI. The day ended with an enlightening panel discussion on recruiting and retaining women in the mechanical and HVAC industry moderated by Jon Finch, VP of Training at MILWAUKEE TOOL, and a panel of diverse women from the industry.

A special thanks to all our supporters who contributed to the conference, and MCA of Chicago for hosting a special attendee event Tuesday night at Joe’s Live. Attendees took advantage throughout the entire conference networking and making new connections. Marie Patterson, a professor at Chico State University, said WiMI and the conference gives “the opportunity for women to help support each other; and it is important to engage and empower those younger to continue to strive for their goals in the industry.”

Networking expert, J. Kelly Hoey closed out the conference sharing unique opportunities in creating proactive and focused networks, and how to leverage the connections they made during the week after the WiMI Conference.

SAVE THE DATE! The second annual Women in the Mechanical Industry Conference is scheduled for June 15-17, 2020 in Austin, Texas!

Ashley Martin Is ASA’s Woman of the Year

Ashley Martin of NIBCO INC., a member of MCAA’s Manufacturer/Supplier Council Governing Board, received the first annual Alice A. Martin Woman of the Year Award from the American Supply Association.  The award recognizes women who have a record of significant accomplishment within the industry and who embody the character of the late Alice Martin: Embracing education and encouraging inventive ideas; promoting women within our industry; inspiring others through her work and example; and being a bold leader that others emulate.

WiMI Conference is Sold Out

MCAA and MSCA are hosting our first Women in the Mechanical Industry Conference this summer, bringing together women leaders from across the country. The conference will be held June 24-26, 2019 in Chicago, IL. All women employed by an MSCA or MCAA member company are encouraged to join us for this unique opportunity. The program will feature several exceptional speakers, including Nicole Malachowski, who was recently inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The conference line-up is sure to inspire you to dream big and hone your skills to enable you to become better leaders and role models. Only a few spots remain, so register today!

Share of Women Working in Construction Highest in 20 Years

According to an article published by Contracting Business, between 2017 and 2018, the number of women working in construction trades increased by 17.6 percent, rising to well over a quarter of a million women (276,000). While this growth is the highest in over two decades, women still remain underrepresented in the field.

“In 2019, women’s stark under-representation in these well-paid jobs is disconcerting, but it is very encouraging to see such strong growth in the number of women entering the construction trades. The industry still has more work to do to attract and retain women in these jobs and create a work environment that is welcoming to all workers, regardless of their gender, race, or ethnicity. Women-focused pre-apprenticeship programs and tradeswomen organizations are doing great work to help the industry adapt to a changing future of work,” comments Ariane Hegewisch, Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) Program Director on Employment & Earnings.

These findings are something to celebrate as well as motivation for the MCAA/MSCA Women in the Mechanical Industry (WiMI) to make strides in closing this gap.

Read full article from Contracting Business here.

Ferguson and DEWALT Show Their Support for the WiMI Initiative

Ferguson and DEWALT showed their support for MCAA’s Women in the Mechanical Industry Initiative during MCAA19. Ferguson underwrote two $5,000 Ferguson – Women in the Mechanical Industry Scholarships that recognized high-achieving female students working towards degrees related to our industry. DEWALT collected more than 1,500 signatures in support of the WiMI Initiative and donated $7,500 to WiMI’s efforts.

Katty Kay Provides Key to Raising Confident Girls

During MCAA19, WiMI-sponsored special guest speaker Katty Kay helped the audience understand how confidence is more important than competence in achieving success. Katty Kay, lead anchor of BBC World News America, is the co-author of The Confidence Code and The Confidence Code for Girls. Her empowering, entertaining presentation provided attendees with the keys to ensuring their daughters grew up confident, bold, and brave. She inspired women to understand that confidence – the lynchpin of success – is a choice and explained ways to break out of comfort zones and take risks that pay off.