I’ll be putting together a special section on women in the installation industry next year, and I’d like to get a jump on it now. What prompted this reminder was seeing that the Ceramic Tile Education Foundation (CTEF) recently hired Heidi Cronin, formerly president of The Cronin Company, as industry liaison and promotions director.

Her job will entail talking to the movers and shakers in the industry about the importance of the CTI (Certified Tile Installers) and ACT (Advanced Certifications for Tile Installers) programs, as well as promoting the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA) and Tile Council of North America (TCNA). Essentially, she will be raising awareness about the importance of qualified labor, certified installers and following industry standards. I don’t know about you, but any time I hear that a major industry trade group is trying to get the word out about the people in this industry who see their profession as a passion and not just a job, I get excited.

Moving back to the original point, a question I see often on internet forums from men is “Why should women get special recognition? I work hard, too.” No doubt you do, but simply look at a history book, the newspaper or turn on the TV and everywhere you’ll see men’s accomplishments amplified and women’s diminished. We would like to do our part to change that culture—even just a little bit.

Luckily, the flooring industry has become more and more women-friendly over the years—not just because women have been shown to be the primary decision-makers when it comes to home purchases, even though that’s a large part of it. There are women in the industry with design backgrounds and marketing backgrounds, female executives who help steer the vision of a company or help run a trade group, women with experience as estimators and contractors—and yes, women who get down on their hands and knees to kick-in carpet, weld seams and spread adhesive.

I would like to gather together recommendations from our readers about women we should interview. As long as they’re part of the team that helps get an installation done, whether in the front or back office, on-site or on-call, we’d love to hear from you. If you’re reading this and fit that criteria, please give me a call at (603) 791-0215 or drop me an e-mail at chmieleckim@bnpmedia.com. If you would like to see someone else featured, please let them know beforehand and make sure you have their permission. Speaking from experience, there are few things people like to be surprised with less than a cold call from a journalist. I hope this gets you thinking, and reminds everyone to appreciate the women in their life and their businesses.