As a woman who has enjoyed 24 years in our HVACR Industry, I have been privileged to see advancements in all aspects of our industry. Not only are many more women choosing to pursue careers in our businesses, but they are achieving levels of success that are only limited by their ability to continually redefine their direction and goals.

Know Yourself

  • Take inventory of your strengths.
  • What opportunities surround you?
  • What’s most important in your life? This is constantly changing.
  • What defines you in your professional and personal life?

Think back through your life: your childhood, school, parents, religion, marriage, children, college and occupation. Today, the resultant “YOU” is a culmination of the impact of these phases and the relationships you shared along your journey.

Relationships

  • Once you know yourself, you are better equipped to understand and work with others to achieve your desired outcomes.

Industry

  • We are an industry of more than 1 million strong! Isn’t that amazing?
  • People everywhere need our products and services.
  • Consider the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy (plus many other U.S. and global disasters).
  • Comfort is only preceded by the need for food and shelter.

We are blessed with business opportunities in this industry, especially now that renovations, multifamily dwellings and, yes, government are expanding (from every adversity there can be an equal or greater benefit).

Our products fill a need. That guarantees job security and success that many other industries do not enjoy.

We must continue to demonstrate our agility, or the resiliency of our industry could falter and fall behind. There is no place for complacency in our lives. Static isn’t an option; we are either ripening or rotting. I prefer the ripening process, as it means we are always getting better.

I encourage each of you, regardless of age, to be a student of our industry.

  • Read.
  • Listen.
  • Get involved.
    • Don’t hesitate to try something new and different. Remember, you can make a difference. Starting small is OK and by getting involved, we are giving back.
    • We don’t “give to get,” but there is a direct correlation between the investment we make with our time and energy and the resultant return on that investment.
  • Focus on what interests you! We excel when we are engaged in projects that are interesting and stimulating; they will ultimately become rewarding.
  • Clearly identifying what makes you “tick” and knowing your “hot buttons” or what triggers your forward-mobility will result in you becoming a better person in all areas of your life.

Think Globally

International trading, aviation and the Internet have shrunk the world, so we must lead the way with a vision:

  • Start with your comfort zone and work outward.
  • Step-by-step – Expand your thinking and your world will expand.
  • Awareness is important – Think about how things will impact you, your family, your profession and your world. This change in thinking will begin to open opportunities beyond anything you ever imagined.

What we think about and immerse ourselves in make a huge difference in the person we are and, even more importantly, the person we will become.

Nothing grows on ice. Remember, we are either ripening or rotting.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

The characteristics of a plan are simple, but you must follow them to achieve success.

  • Document your plan in terms that are inclusive and bring value while identifying attainable steps.
  • Develop a plan that uses aggressive, but realistic, time frames.
  • Plan to use all resources to their maximum benefit and celebrate milestones as you march toward success.
  • Monitor your progress and re-vector when needed to make sure you are on track to reaching your clearly defined goals.

–Ruth Ann Davis, President, Women in HVACR

Ruth Ann Davis is Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Williams Furnace Company, a manufacturer of residential, commercial and industrial Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration equipment. Prior to joining Williams, she worked for The Knox Co. (manufacturer of safes and vaults) and the Rochester Corp. (manufacturer of oilfield and oceanographic cable). Rochester built the cable that provided power to the robot that found the Titanic. Ruth Ann has spent most of her career working for companies that manufacture engineered products based on customers’ specifications.

Ruth Ann has been willing to stretch beyond her capabilities and encourages women to be risk-takers and to constantly think “outside the box.” Her greatest reward has been witnessing the evolution of change in the HVACR industry and being a contributor to that transformation.