Women’s History Month | Overview
Information from: The National Women’s History Museum
In the United States, March is recognized as Women’s History Month, an extension of the first International Women’s Day in 1911. Over the next sixty years, celebrations of women’s history expanded, beginning with the Sonoma County’s 1978 “Women’s History Week” Celebration. Eleven years later, Congress officially declared March to be Women’s History Month.
To celebrate Women’s History Month, we elected to reach out to local businesses and local business contacts to hear their empowering stories. You may be wondering: Why would a water heater repair service care about Women’s History Month? The answer is simple: women are the backbone of our company. We often forget the importance of recognizing and acknowledging the journey to success when we see a successful woman. The water heater industry is often stereotypically considered to be a masculine industry and it may surprise many to learn that our company actually has several female employees, and that there are many women employed by the major manufacturers with which we work for warranty service repairs. Despite male dominance in the water heater and business industries alike, women are on the rise and we had the pleasure to learn about some incredible women this month.
Meet the Women in Business
Mary DeMarco — Sales Representative at Illco | Countryside, IL
Mary DeMarco has been an associate of U.S. Water Heating Solutions since we were first founded about a year ago, but some of our staff has known Ms. DeMarco for about 5 years. Illco is a Wholesale Distributor of HVAC, Refrigeration, and Piping, an industry which is traditionally considered to be male dominated. Ms. DeMarco sites her mother as one of her biggest inspirations: “She was smart and knew what she wanted in life, in a time when women were not given much consideration for their ideas or contributions to the business world. She always encouraged me to take a chance and try new things and explore what I thought was right for me.” We had a moment to sit down with Ms. DeMarco to ask about her experiences as a woman in business:
What is your favorite thing about working at Illco?
M.D.: The people: they are so knowledgeable with our product line and go off the management staff and CEO for help and guidance. They advocate discussing ideas to promote our business and they will always listen and give feedback.
What advice do you have for women in the business world?
M.D.: Stay true to your beliefs and respect others even if you don’t like the response you receive. Figure out what is best for you and don’t be afraid to take a risk. There will always be ups and downs with your business, but pursue on.
Ms. Schmuck is an impressive woman: a leader in the business industry and in the green movement, as well as a cancer survivor. She and her husband run Going Green Limousine from their home in Chicago. Ms. Schmuck explained that she: “[has] always been focused on the green movement, taking care of nature, living a natural lifestyle as much as possible.” In 2009, a surprising cancer diagnosis changed Ms. Schmuck’s life. During this time, her husband worked as a chauffeur and the two began to discuss the integration of hybrids into the private car service industry. The two questioned why companies were not using private cars, and decided to create their own hybrid chauffeuring service. Ms. Schmuck recalls “literally signing business licensing paperwork in the hospital while recovering from […] surgery.” Today, she is cancer free and propelling her green family-owned business across the Chicagoland area. As a woman, she has taken inspiration from her mother: “She was amazing. She was strong, determined, hard working, and incredibly caring. She was always ready to help anyone who needed her, friend or stranger. She taught me the importance of work ethic, but also the value of compassion.” As a business woman and a mother, Ms. Schmuck advises other women in the business world of the following: “Don’t forget to live your life. Owning a business, or just working in the business world is very consuming, time wise and emotionally. Women in general tend to be caregivers, and so it is easy to get lost in taking care of everyone else but ourselves. Don’t be afraid to put your needs first. Love yourself. You can still love everyone else, too, and get your work done. We’re women. We’ve got this.”
Ms. Rosado is a part of the Tomchek Ace family in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Tomchek Ace has been family owned for over 30 years. We were fortunate to become acquainted with the Tomchek Ace family through our Waukesha based technician, Kevin. Ms. Rosado loves her job because of her coworkers: “the funniest and most caring people [she] has ever met.” She has taken feminine inspiration from her grandmother: “I have always thought my grandma was pretty inspiring. She raised 5 kids completely alone and always found time to help others.” Ms. Rosado is well versed in her field, but has experienced some adversity as a woman working in hardware. In response to that negativity, she says “sometimes, someone will come in wanting to rain on my day and I just had to learn to let it go.” As for other women in the home improvement industry, she advised the following: “One I thing I tell myself is that I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. I shouldn’t have to show everyone how much I know or all the things I can do. If someone doesn’t believe in you, it’s their loss.”
We would like to thank all of the women who participated and provide honorable mention to the women who still inspire us and inspired this campaign:
Charlotte Nunn | Operations Manager at Buddy Guy’s Legends
Emilie Dishno | Creative/Marketing at Tomchek Ace
Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date, as we develop this campaign into #WomenWednesdays, where we will be sharing more inspirational stories every Wednesday. | Our first #WomenWednesdays will be tomorrow, with another feature from Tomchek Ace.
Also be sure to learn more about these AMAZING women and their businesses in the embedded links above!
For #WomenWednesdays nominations and inquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org