INDUSTRY GROUP, Women in Roofing (WINR) is to move to a formal membership structure after “proving itself” over its first years.
WINR, which was established in 2014, looks to promote skills and diversity in construction and support advancement and employment for the benefit of both individuals and businesses.
Speaking after a networking event at the Marley headquarters in Burton on Trent, director, Denise Cherry said: “I think we’ve proven ourselves and now’s the time to set the organisation on a more formal standing with individual and corporate membership.
“That will allow us to move forward in a more structured manner. It’ll also be good for our members to see more of what we’re doing, we’ll be able to contact them on a more regular basis and give it more structure.”
Denise, who is also Training Officer at Yorkshire Independent Roof Training Group, continued: “We started up about five years ago, and there’s been a lot of change: women within the industry have found their voice.
“I can remember many, many years ago there were very few women, even attending the industry awards and even less that won, but now that’s changing a little bit.
“We have some really, really dynamic women and a good network.
“Our strengths are in lobbying, supporting and nurturing some of the younger women.
“We’ve changed from being a group that initially took quite tentative steps into the industry into one that, by luck, good management or both, is made up of women who are now in quite senior positions strategically across the country.
“They are within manufacturers or merchants or training, or contracting, and it’s nice to see it all grow.”
The networking event, which took place on 11 December, included a tour of Marley’s museum at its Burton site, as well as feedback on the organisation’s conference in 2019, ahead of planning for the 2020 WINR conference.
Fellow WINR director, Kate Whatley, who is also commercial director at SPV Group, said: “We’re going to have a meeting to put our heads together and plan some ideas for next year’s conference. Then we’ll feed that back – with some dates – and see what people are looking for and what they are interested in.
“We want to do something that people want to come to. It’s all good putting on a conference if it’s something we’re we’re interested in, but there’s no point if it’s not going to be interesting for everyone else.
“We want to make it innovative; I don’t want to talk about the same things, we need to talk about new and different things.
“For me, the benefit of the conference is everybody can take something away.
“It makes it worthwhile coming out of the office for a day, so people learn, and they can take something back to their business and make it a little bit better or a little bit different, that’s the idea.”