The glass ceiling is the terminology used to describe an invisible – yet solid and real – barrier for advancement commonly applied to women.
Let’s be clear. In many respects, MHVille is a male-dominated profession.
That’s not to say that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist in other areas of American business, because it
demonstrably does. For example, the glass ceiling has long existed in politics. A peek around the world and into history reveals the slow evolution of women into today’s broadly understood status as co-equal to that of men. But there are still today numerous countries, perhaps most notably in Muslim dominated nations, where women are not viewed as equals to men.
In MHVille, there’s been several interesting examples of cracks in the proverbial glass ceiling.
For example, the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI) hired Gail Cardwell as their president, over a decade ago.
Champion Homebuilders, now part of Skyline Champion (SKY), had Phyllis Knight as a division president for a time. An interview with her while she was still in the industry is found at this link here.
In the Manufactured Home Communities sector, giant Equity LifeStyle Properties (ELS) has Marguerite Nader as president. See an exclusive interview with her, linked here.
Zeman Homes and Communities had Dee Pizer as their president for some 35 years. Dee literally worked her way up through the ranks, and still serves Zeman in a variety of ways. See an exclusive interview with her, linked here.
At Sunshine Homes, Lindsey Bostick is being groomed for taking over the reins at the privately-owned business, currently run by her father, John Bostick. Click on Lindsey’s or her father’s John‘s respective names to see exclusive interviews with each of them.
There are any number of independent retailers, communities, and service providers that are owned or operated by a woman, or are ‘mom and pop’ – husband and wife operations. The parent operation to MHProNews, LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC is co-owned by a woman, whose name is on the byline at the end of this article.
That gives the writer a unique perspective on the topic of the glass ceiling in the industry.
The Most Visible Place in MHVille for Women?
Women work in factories, at retail sales centers, in offices of all kinds, and by the thousands in manufactured home communities.
But perhaps the single most leadership-visible position that women have broken the glass ceiling in MHVille is at the state association level.
At any given time for some years, women have held numerous executive directors roles by the dozens in the manufactured housing industry.
Two exclusive interviews with women working at the state association level are found here and here, with letters from lady executives to MHProNews linked here and here. A recent list of MHEC members included 22 women among the 53 state association level executives, or about 41.5 percent.
This year, in Arizona, two women represent each of the major political parties – Democrats and Republicans – for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake.
A driving force behind the creation of a new national land-lease communities association is a woman, Susan Brenton. For more on her thoughts on that topic, click here, or the story linked below.
Often overlooked, save by experts like L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, is the fact that a significant part of the home-buying decision in millions of households is made or largely influenced by women.
As we ponder Labor Day, it’s also good to remember the image of Rosie the Riveter. While mostly men fought on the land, sea, and air, woman worked to care for the wounded, and to build the weapons of war used by American men.
So, this post isn’t to in any way belittle or elevate one gender over another.
Rather, it’s to recognize the reality that women’s roles are to be respected, along-side that of men, in or beyond MHVille. ## (News, analysis, and commentary.)
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