SEMCO Employees in The NEWS: "Women Flourish in HVAC Industry Positions"

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016

    Below is an excerpt from the The News article, Women Flourish in HVAC Industry Positions. To see the full article, click here.

    "Jessie Meyers, a research and development engineer at SEMCO LLC, a Fläkt Woods company, first became interested in mechanical engineering by working with her dad in his home wood/metal shop. “Growing up, I did a lot of things with him in the shop, which included everything from woodworking to welding. My dad served in the military as a helicopter pilot, so I also had the opportunity to climb around in Huey and Chinook helicopters. The combination of tinkering in the shop and seeing the fleets of complicated helicopters jump-started my interest in engineering.

    “Now, as a research and development engineer, I typically take a new product from the design stage through testing and listing requirements and then create all the information required for producing it at our manufacturing plant,” she continued. “I also spend time in the production facility to make sure our computer-aided design can actually be manufactured realistically and efficiently.”

    Meyers said SEMCO’s corporate culture is very woman-friendly, but college was very different.

    “Many times, I found myself being the only woman in some of the mechanical engineering classes, and there were only a few women in the major,” Meyers noted. “Luckily, I had roommates and professors who supported me if any peers were disrespectful toward my career choice. Many teenage girls have self-esteem and confidence issues. Entering into a male-dominated field after high school can exacerbate the problem. Some men see female mechanical engineers as intimidating and some women may treat you resentfully.”

    Jennifer Gregory, a design drafter at SEMCO, agreed with Meyers about the atmosphere at work. “I haven’t noticed any challenges due to my gender so far in my career, but there are other women here at SEMCO who work in similar fields which makes it easier.”

    Gregory grew up on job sites, as both her mother and stepfather worked for an HVAC company. Her father also had ties to the mechanical industry, working as an independent contractor. And, while she has not faced any challenges in her career at SEMCO, she believes her gender may have complicated her initial job search. “I’m not sure if being a woman made it tougher to get my first job after graduation, but it did take a while to get one.”