One year ago today, I posted the first installment of the Confessions of an HVAC Chick blog series. I’d been blogging for a while about all things HVAC, but started the HVAC Chick series as a way to get a little personal with the blog. Putting my first blog out there was a bit of an emotional risk for me. I felt (and still feel) some level of inadequacy running an HVAC company without having been an HVAC technician. I was afraid that I would be condemned for my lack of field experience. But, I was overwhelmed by the level of support that I received. Over the last year, I’ve heard from women (as well as some pretty awesome men) from all over the U.S. and the WORLD, who have offered their stories, feedback and support.
The stories that stuck with me the most are the ones that illustrate how very rare a thing we women still are in the trades (we make up less than 4% of trade labor). For example, a female President of an HVACR company who’s contracting association director calls her “Baby Doll”. Or the female mechanical engineer who has repeatedly been mistaken for her male boss’ mistress (yes, mistress) on business trips. She has also, oddly, been mistaken for a flight attendant on these same trips. These misunderstandings actually make me wonder about the boss’ travelling habits…but I digress.
Although there were a few truly horrifying stories in there – sabotage, threats, etc. – the stories, for the most part, were more funny than horrifying, which is encouraging. Change requires a period of adjustment, so friction caused by misunderstandings and missteps is expected. That we are reaching a tipping point where the friction tickles instead of burns is a sure sign that we’re making headway.
As I look back at the year, there are articles that I’m proud of, articles that I wish I’d taken more time with, and articles that I probably should not have posted at all. But it’s all been an adventure. Here are a few that I particularly enjoyed writing, hopefully you’ll enjoy reading!
Stories from my childhood:
My own personal adventures as a woman in the trades:
These are some of my more popular blogs:
And, of course, the blog that started it all:
I’ve learned a lot from blogging. And from opening myself up to other women in the trades as both mentor and mentee, supporter and advocate. Just seeing other women out there, doing their thing in the best way they can, inspires me. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. In fact I probably have more questions than answers. But I’m here, and I’m doing my thing, and I hope that I can do my part. So, if you’re reading, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And if you’re commenting, liking and sharing, I am sending you a little electronic hug over the internet right now.
Thank you for your support!
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