In early March, Trim-Tex’s ongoing Women in Drywall campaign took a big step forward, when we held our first-ever Women in Drywall-focused event at Trim-Tex HQ in Lincolnwood, IL. Working in conjunction with Trim-Tex’s Women’s Group — which is made up of all our female staff, meeting regularly to trade advice and provide support for one another — we decided to fly in someone in the drywalling community we love: Kayla Beckett, known on Instagram as @The_Taping_Queen.
“We picked Kayla to kick off this campaign because she is passionate about drywall finishing and bringing awareness to the construction industry's need for more women in the trades,” said Trim-Tex Social Media Specialist Cait Driscoll, who is spearheading our Women in Drywall efforts. “She personally recruits and trains women on the job for her drywall finishing company in Canada. Kayla knows firsthand what it is like to start and develop a career in a male-dominated field like drywall finishing. She has been through a lot, and I thought the Trim-Tex Women's Group would be a perfect place for her to share her journey.”
Beckett sat down with the Women’s Group to speak to her experience as a female finisher, and listened as some of the Trim-Tex staff shared their stories, as well. Then the whole crew reassembled at our on-site Training Center, where Beckett gave them some hand-on training on her methods of installing our own Fast Edge® Paper, in addition to some of the drywall taping she’s known for.
“I thoroughly enjoyed having Kayla come to Trim-Tex to speak with the Women’s Group,” said Rachel Pennington, our resident graphic designer, who was in attendance. “Her knowledge of the industry and empowering energy made for an unforgettable event. I hope we can have more women come in to speak about the industry and give us more insight on not just the techniques but also the struggles in the industry. As women make up a small section of the industry, it’s interesting to learn about their history, what made them go into the field and how they overcome obstacles that are thrown their way.”
When asked about Beckett’s demonstration of her craft, Pennington was especially enthused. “It was a blast getting to test techniques I’ve never used before in the Trim-Tex lab with the entire women’s group,” she said. “Even though I’ve never done it before, I feel more comfortable with the tools and materials just after learning from Kayla.”
Driscoll and the Women’s Group plan on bringing more women in the drywalling industry to our humble headquarters in the future, as well as organizing more events, like charity projects. And Trim-Tex will continue our efforts to empower women in the trades. Learn more about Women in Drywall, and discover the women who are changing the face of the industry, here.
ABOUT THE TRIM-TEX WOMEN’S GROUP
Our Women’s Group was founded by Trim-Tex Controller Martha Kinzel as a support system for working women. Kinzel and other female members of our staff provide a safe environment where women can talk about their struggles and achievements with no judgement. About the foundation and fellowship of the group, Kinzel had the following to say:
“I had the idea of the Women’s Group about two years ago. I’ve been working for over 40 years, and have had a variety of accounting-related jobs. At many times in my career, I wished there was a support group for working women. There were times I felt like I was a lousy employee, lousy spouse and lousy mother all at the same time, with no one short of a therapist to talk to about my feelings. I shared with a few girlfriends who were also in the same position and it helped to know I wasn’t alone. Needless to say, I overcame those challenges and have managed to stay married for over 30 years and have two sons successfully graduate from college and not live at home!
“As the number of ladies working at Trim-Tex has increased over the years, I felt a need to bring us all together and offer that support to each other. One way to do this was to bring everyone together for a group meeting periodically and offer some form of education, discussion or activity that appealed to everyone and was from a woman’s perspective. We have had people talk to us about stress management, saving for retirement, nutrition, taxes, meditation. We have done community service projects, had gift exchanges at the holidays, made lunches for homeless women and a variety of other things. Through all of this, we are managing to bridge the gap between generations, positions within the company and ethnic differences. We are learning that we can help each other, listen to each other and be role models for each other.”
Stay tuned to the Trim-Tex blog for the future events put on by the Women’s Group, as well as more editions of Women in Drywall!