Sunday is International Women’s Day (IWD). But what is it all about? According to the website dedicated to this day, International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. The slogan is “An Equal World is an Enabled World”. Hashtags were created for this day; #IWD2020 and #EachforEqual.

One company decided to celebrate the women who worked every day inside their many walls across the country.  Not the women who usually get the credit and the accolades, the franchise owners and top bosses, but the women behind the scenes who make the wheels turn every single day in a male dominated industry.

Anne Lacey Whitaker is Vice President of Marketing at Paul Davis, a North American franchise company serving customers experiencing property damage. She started her journey with them in 2014, beginning on a team of five with a focus on marketing program adoption and internal communications. As of this International Women’s Day, Anne Lacey now leads a team of 16 who serve a network of over 300 franchise offices and nearly 300 local sales and marketing professionals across the U.S. and Canada. She is passionate about coaching learners on leadership development and elevating skillsets while driving the local sales and marketing strategy for the brand.

Among those great people, 20 have been selected across franchise offices for profiles for the Paul Davis newsletter and for this author’s LinkedIn column #FranchiseStars.

“There is a level of bravery that goes into every role in restoration and reconstruction services,” explains Anne Lacey, “and to be a woman within this industry takes even more courage. We serve people during some of their most difficult moments,” Anne Lacey continues. “Imagine your house catching on fire then the fire sprinklers go off causing both fire and water damage. Not only do you need immediate help to mitigate any damage, but empathy and understanding are required that only certain remarkable people are capable of genuinely conveying. Although I wish we could feature all the extraordinary women at Paul Davis, we selected individuals who represent a broad spectrum of roles and responsibilities.”

Some of the positions shared in the profiles include Senior Production Manager, who plays an integral role in the fluidity of communication and action; Reconstruction Supervisor, who works to get customers back into their homes; and Lead Water/Fire/Trauma Technician, who is the primary contact between the homeowner and crew members during the drying process in a flooded home.

“We are living in a climate where equality for all humans is front facing, no matter the gender, race, political party, or religion”, concludes Anne Lacey. “I am honored to serve on a diverse team that is 80% female. These women weren’t hired because of their gender; they are all A-Players who deliver best-in-class results and provide extraordinary care while serving people in their time of need. Although I am proud to be a woman, I am prouder to be a leader at Paul Davis and celebrate and empower the amazing leaders I have the pleasure of working alongside.”

Since 1966 Paul Davis Restoration has restored residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, water, mold, storms and disasters. With more than 300 independently owned franchises in the United States and Canada, the company is considered a one-stop shop for disaster damage and restoration. The professionals at Paul Davis are certified in emergency restoration, reconstruction and remodeling. For more information, visit the company website at www.pauldavis.com.

Rhonda Sanderson is an expert and author in franchising and is the founder of Sanderson PR and #FranchiseStars. Reach her @SandersonPR

IWD stock photo by Franzi/Shutterstock