The construction industry is often thought of as a boys club. Jobs are typically filled by tough guys with muscles like superheroes. But don’t tell that to Tayler Burkett. As one of Stonewater Roofing’s new project managers, she is proving that roofing is no longer a man’s world.
“I’ve had people tell me that this is a man’s job and ask me if I was ready for what I was getting myself into,” said Burkett from her latest project site, a home in an exclusive east Tyler subdivision. “I don’t think that females come short of many things. We’re as capable as men.”
“I think anybody can do anything that they set their mind to,” Burkett added.
More than a thousand people across the country agree with Burkett and have joined National Women in Roofing, an organization created to help advance the careers of women in the roofing industry. Stonewater Roofing has been approved as a company that supports females.
The coronavirus pandemic pushed Burkett out of restaurant management and forced her to explore other options. With some encouragement from friends, she decided to try something completely different. Burkett joined the Stonewater Roofing team in May. “I just took a leap of faith and went with it,” she said. “I love Stonewater, so it’s somewhere to make a career.”
“Stonewater does pride itself on its diversity,” explained COO and co-owner Jacob Law. Indeed, the company includes employees from various backgrounds. “We’ve got a lot of women and men in the same roles, project management, office staff and otherwise. What it does for us is it just creates a whole and cohesive team.
“We just want to make sure we have the right people in the right positions, regardless of exactly where they come from. Whether they be male or female,” Law continued, “we want to make sure we have the right person in the position that’s going to be able to serve the company’s needs, but also take care of our customers. We don’t really care who that is, as long as they can get the job done and get it done right.”
The project manager must be able to effectively communicate with both the property owner and the construction crew, ensuring that everything is done the Stonewater way. “I don’t see any difference with a woman or a man out here as a project manager, as long as they’re authoritative,” said CCO Shay Burton. “It’s all about getting your crew’s respect.”
“They work well together and I work well with them,” Burkett said of her crew. “We’re all in the same team, working toward the end goal, which is making the customer happy, doing things the Stonewater way, always following the same guidelines no matter male or female.”
Burton agrees. “Tayler’s doing good,” he said. “There’s still things she’s going to learn along the way. We expect everybody to do that. But she’s calling, she’s asking questions, she’s getting her hands dirty, she’s getting in there with the crew, elbows deep. Couldn’t ask for anything else.”