Yes, We Can!

It’s not easy being a woman in the hearth industry, but these 20 bosses know how to handle rudeness – in a nice way.

Were you to survey the hearth industry and ask whether hearth is a male dominated industry, the likely answer would be “yes, it is.” We put this question, along with many others, to professional women in hearth and discovered “it’s complicated.”

While men certainly hold leadership roles in manufacturing and throughout the industry, an increasing number of women are fulfilling leadership roles, particularly within the retail sector. Many hearth companies are family businesses owned by husband and wife teams with a clear division of labor so that each person’s strengths are emphasized and the business grows. There are also numerous hearth businesses founded and managed by entrepreneurial women.

Women within hearth companies typically play leadership roles in sales, marketing, merchandising, showroom management, purchasing, scheduling, human resources, and financial management. There are also an increasing number of women who are fulfilling traditional male roles in installation and construction. Hearth appears to be an industry where the glass ceiling is definitely cracked.

Some of the most commonly mentioned advantages of women in the hearth industry is their eye for design, higher levels of empathy, attention to detail, and ability to relate to women customers who are typically decision makers on hearth purchases. Most of the women we talked with agreed, however, that it’s not a male versus female competition, but recognition that each gender and each individual has unique abilities that can be applied for a successful business.