Witty. Creative. Strong. These are just some of the attributes that our Member Spotlight brings to the table. Melissa Cason, Vice President of Porter Roofing, new board member for TARC, and longtime advocate and voice for women in roofing is certainly a role model for demonstrating what it takes in dedication, hard work and commitment to attaining a dream. The trend for women entering the workforce in fields such as roofing continues to grow, changing the overall dynamics of the industry.
Melissa holds many job titles such as Vice President, devoted wife, and full-time mother, just to name a few. This is a glimpse into the busy life of Melissa Cason.
Who inspired you to work in roofing?
My inspiration to work in the roofing industry was largely my husband. He absolutely enjoys roofing and I’ve seen him conquer many of the obstacles and challenges that comes with the territory. He encouraged me to get involved and I am so glad that I did!
What does your average day look like?
My average workday is not average by any means! It is a challenge to be a full-time wife, mother, teacher and Executive Vice President of Porter Roofing Contractors, Inc. Thankfully, I have been blessed to be able to work remotely anywhere and anytime. Some days, I begin working early while other days I work late into the night. It just depends on what tasks I have at hand how I juggle any conflicts with my responsibilities. Every day is different in terms of schedule, which can at times create a challenge. I like to rise to the occasion on such days!
What was your first job in roofing and what was the
perception of the people you worked with as a woman on staff for the job?
My first job in the roofing industry was in accounts payable. It taught me to understand all the different roofing materials and was a great introduction into the roofing world. Women working in the office is typical, however, once we had a man in the office who refused to do “women’s work!” Unfortunately, that is just one bias among many that we run into frequently in this field and that we are working to overcome.
What are the barriers to working in the roofing field that you personally had to overcome as a woman?
I believe that in any field, there will be barriers for women to overcome, especially in industries that are male dominated. I’ve been blessed to be in an environment that promotes women in all avenues of our business. However, I absolutely had to overcome barriers when I stepped out of my protected environments. There were the attitudes with winks, being called “hon” and I heard a lot of “it’s so easy, she could do it!” I think our industry has inched slowly in equality and I still see some walls that we may need to break down with a sledge hammer. I also notice that companies are beginning to support women more than ever in this field, and the movement seems to be catching momentum.
What is it about roofing and why continue in the field?
There are so many things I enjoy about this industry. I relish looking at a building and taking pride in the fact that we roofed it. I savor the excitement of winning a bid. But mostly, I love the people in roofing! From the janitor, forklift driver, roofer, or business owner, almost everyone you meet has incredible success stories and are just amazing individuals.
What is your position in roofing now and how do you perceive the future?
I am the Executive Vice President and co-owner of Porter Roofing Contractors, Inc. I plan on continuing education on the state of art roofing systems and the industry overall. I see myself as being an advocate and voice for women in the industry as well. I would like for those younger females starting out in roofing to be able to see me as a role model and for them to know they too can be successful in this field as a woman.
How has TARC helped you in your career in roofing?
TARC has given me the opportunity to meet many different people through the organization and has given me the chance to help our Tennessee roofing community as a profession. I consider TARC to be a great advocate for women in the industry.
What is your advice to women who are looking to work in roofing and to the companies that are looking to hire women?
My advice to the women looking to work in the roofing industry is to not get disappointed and discouraged, but to get connected with other women in the industry for support. It makes all the difference. For the companies looking to hire women into the business, I would suggest having an open mind and be willing to bend the status quo.
What is it that you like to do in your free time?
What free time? Just kidding! I like hanging out with my teenage children who keep me on my toes and my husband. We very much enjoy the outdoors with camping, hiking, and off-roading.
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