Today, on International Women's Day, Behr Paint Company announces 'Women in Paint', a program created to highlight the company's commitment to elevating professional women painters' voices, celebrating their achievements, and inspiring the next generation. In partnership with the Painting Contractors Association (PCA), Behr seeks to help grow the presence of women in a male-dominated industry by spotlighting career-journeys and providing educational opportunities and training resources to women through the PCA's Women in Paint group.
"Women comprise only 10% of the building trades workforce nationally1, but this number is on the rise thanks to training programs and diversity and inclusion efforts that encourage more women to enter the skilled trades," said Jodi Allen, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Behr Paint Company. "By partnering with the PCA and spotlighting the stories of professional women painters, we hope to spark conversation around increasing the presence of tradeswomen and learn how we can be a stronger ally to women in the industry."
"Women are the unsung heroes, movers and shakers, doers and leaders in the painting industry," said Nigel Costolloe, Executive Director of PCA. "PCA is proud to partner with Behr on supporting Women in Paint."
To kick off this commitment, Behr worked with the PCA to produce an episode for its 'Business Anatomy' docu-series that highlights four professional women painters' journeys, capturing both their challenges and successes in the industry:
- Gillian Nielsen, President, Contemporary Surface Solutions, LLC (CSS): After starting her painting career residentially, Gillian became San Diego's first commercial painting forewoman and cultivated an expertise in management, project estimating and executive leadership throughout her 30-plus years in the commercial painting industry. Since her start, Gillian has been determined to break down barriers and pave the way for other women to follow her footsteps through mentoring and employing women painters. CSS is a woman-owned division for specialty finishes and is considered one of San Diego's top commercial painting contractors.
- Gina Koert, President, Shamrock Painting Inc. (SPI): In addition to having more than two decades of experience with people and project management, Gina served as Board Director and Chair of PCA. For the last year, Gina has served as Chair for the PCA Education committee where she laid the groundwork for creating Trade Best Practice and training videos. A strong believer in the power of positive culture in the workplace, Gina regularly develops internal work/life balance campaigns to assist employees achieve the balance of "working hard and playing hard."
- Billie Machain, Co-Owner/Managing Partner, Billie's Painting Solutions: After starting out with stocking duties in a paint store, Billie has served in the industry for 30 years and is now a co-owner of a commercial painting company, specializing in residential projects with her daughter. Their combined experience helps them see the big picture on the job and approach each project with a teamwork mindset.
- Veronica Tucci, Co-Owner/Managing Partner, Billie's Painting Solutions: While studying accounting at school, Veronica began working for a national paint manufacturer in 2008. She climbed the ranks from assistant manager to sales representative and had the opportunity to discover her true passion: helping people achieve their goals. Despite taking brief breaks to try sales and management, she always found her way back to the painting industry where her mom worked. In 2022, Billie and Veronica decided to take a chance and partner together to start their own painting company.
Behr plans to execute on its pledge to women paint contractors by providing in-person training events, helpful resources, and educational opportunities in the future. "There is a promising opportunity to increase the exposure and career growth of professional women painters, and we're focused on uplifting and inspiring future generations," said Allen.
For more information on the Women in Paint program, visit www.behr.com/womeninpaint.