The tulips were popping the day we met at Pam Rainey’s house in Cartersville, Ga., for the first interview in our Floor Trends’ Women in Flooring series. Stephanie Fisher, public relations specialist, Shaw Floors, had arranged for the meet up, and Shaw photographer Hannah Goodall was tasked with capturing the day. We were four women just doing things we enjoy: admiring Pam’s beautiful kitchen; checking out photos on Instagram; cuddling Shadow, the uber-friendly Weimaraner; and snacking on fruit, pimento cheese dip, and my weakness, iced sugar cookies.
But within this picture-perfect afternoon there was some more serious talk about the role of women in flooring. Within our departments, it’s sometimes tough to remember that it’s still a male-dominated industry. The four of us work with a lot of women in marketing, product design and the trade press. But climb the ranks, and the number of females in top positions decreases.
“You can’t be what you can’t see,” said Marie Wilson, founder of the former White House Project, in 2010, reminding us that unless we have role models we can look up to, we may never know the possibilities.
That’s certainly the case in our industry, which has traditionally been led by men in top executive roles. In this new feature series, we will have conversations with female leaders in flooring who are driving innovation, advocating for change, and inspiring new generations of woman leaders.
Rainey, ASID, IIDA, vice president product design, leads nearly 50 people on the product development teams for Shaw Floors and Anderson Tuftex, providing design vision for both hard and soft surface products. She was kind enough to invite us into her home for a candid discussion about her path to flooring—and offered some sage advice about taking leaps of faith into the unknown and always volunteering for new opportunities.
Not surprisingly, we have had a lot of interest in the start of this series since we announced it in early April. My inbox and phone have been flooded with people volunteering their friends and coworkers to be featured. Our team is eager to get on the road to spend more quality time with women who are initiating change and inspiring all of us to reach for more. Have a recommendation? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.