We spoke to Roni Savage, CEO of Jomas Associates, about working successfully in a male-dominated industry and challenging the status quo.
CEO, Jomas Associates
How have you, as a woman, navigated and succeeded in a male-dominated industry?
It can be daunting not seeing anyone who looks like you in the workplace. However, I grew up with four older brothers and that experience certainly prepared me for navigating the male-dominated industry I now work in. I also thoroughly enjoy my career.
My purpose- and focus-driven stance means that I find solutions rather than dwelling on challenges. As Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.” This mindset is critical to achieving success, coupled with working hard, learning daily, and building a trusted team around you. It’s not easy, but rewards rarely come without effort.
Can you speak to the pay disparity between men and women that continues to present a barrier to attracting and retaining the industry’s female workforce? What can we do to combat this and push the industry forward?
As an employer, I find it difficult to understand how and why women on the same level are paid less than men. It simply should not be happening. The solution is simple: a mandate is required to enforce such actions as discriminatory with penalties applied.
How can we attract younger generations, especially girls, to take up a career in the trades? What advice would you give to these individuals?
If there is no one ahead of you who looks like you, be the trendsetter. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge the status quo. Breaking through stereotypes may be scary, but is exciting and rewarding at the site time. I encourage others to take this leap.
Which technologies, tools, and resources have you seen be the most effective in bridging the skills gap?
AI and technology in general will shape our future. There is so much available online that I couldn’t even list them all. I must recommend getting a LinkedIn account in order to connect, explore, and network.