Weidenhammer Celebrates Women’s Day
This March is the 42nd National Women’s History Month—widely celebrated on March 8th with the recognition of successes women have accomplished. Weidenhammer, being just two years older than the presidential declaration to celebrate women, has always followed suit.
“It is appropriate that we celebrate the significance of Women’s Day,” says President and Founder John Weidenhammer. “Our 44-year history is replete with the significant contributions of our female team members. It is worthy of note that the third, fourth and fifth individuals to join Weidenhammer, way, way back at the beginning, were women.”
While much has changed over the last 40+ years in the workplace for women, as a country we’re still not quite there yet. In the United States alone women make up about half of the workforce, but fill only 25% of tech jobs, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology.
Companies like Weidenhammer are working to close that gap.
“It is great to work with people who support your career growth.”Jen Williams, Director of Marketing, Weidenhammer
“Weidenhammer understands the competing demands working women deal with every day,” says E. Joy McFerren, Director of Human Resources. “We have partnered with Team Members to create part-time positions to provide more flexibility with childcare, phased retirement to allow us to utilize essential skills, and flexible scheduling to meet the demands of family and work.” McFerren is one of a growing number of women in leadership positions at Weidenhammer; some of which have been with the company since its inception.
One such woman is Deb Longacre, Vice President of Application Development, who has been with the company for over 40 years. Longacre, who is very proud to be part of that original team says “Weidenhammer has provided excellent opportunities to me, as well as other women within the organization.”
Jen Williams, Director of Marketing, provides additional insight into Weidenhammer’s culture. “Working for Weidenhammer has been one of the most collaborative and team-orientated environments I have been part of. It is great to work with people who support your career growth.”
Weidenhammer’s Commitment to Balance for Women in the Workplace
This year’s theme is “Women Providing Healing, Promoting Hope,” which according to the National Women’s History Alliance, is “both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers, and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic.”
One of the keys to a fulfilling career, for anyone, is balance – this may be even more so for a woman, as often caregiver responsibilities fall on them. Part of the “solution” is to accommodate for that in hiring. “Our EAP [Employee Assistance Program] can help women find childcare and elder care, as well as all kinds of work/life balance options and training,” according to McFerren. And, in a post-pandemic world those are the options many women are seeking. Case in point: Last year Weidenhammer hired more women than men; and has nearly always employed a greater percentage of female team members than the industry average, according to Mr. Weidenhammer.
Celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month is more than a look back, it is a look to the future as well. In recent years, there has been a push to close the gender gap in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) workforce. Often that push begins in school, or with awareness events like National STEM Day, where children are encouraged to explore STEM topics. While women currently make up only 28% of the STEM workforce, it is worth noting that companies that actively promote gender equality and growth play a large part in that opportunity awareness.
Hammer Marketing Director of Operations, Laura Mory, witnessed firsthand just how disproportionate the balance is. On a recent college tour with her son in Philadelphia, Mory watched while the crowd of students dispersed into smaller groups according to major. Not one girl stood up when Engineering was called. “How disappointing,” Mory thought to herself. “As parents and educators, we need to encourage our girls that fields such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics need them,” she says.
Continual Support, Continual Growth
This March, Weidenhammer is especially grateful for the integral staff of women and their contribution to paving the way for other women in STEM. Encouraging the growth and development of our women colleagues is essential to ensuring all members of Weidenhammer’s team share equal opportunity and stand on common ground.