The second annual Women in Pest Control Conference is slated for Sept. 24-25, this time at the Sheraton North Houston hotel in Houston, Texas.
The success of the inaugural Women in Pest Control Conference, which was held last August in Austin, Texas, encouraged organizers and Women in Pest Control founders Lisa Myers-Botts, CA, owner, Peacock Pest Prevention, Cypress, Texas, and Bobbie Terry, CA, owner, The Bug Lady Pest Services, Cedar Creek, Texas to hold this year’s event.
“We identified a real need in the industry,” says Lisa Myers-Botts. “Women needed to know they were not the only women in the field. When you are the only female in an office of 15 to 20, it can feel pretty isolating. The ladies got excited to know they weren’t alone.”
Like last year, the event is for women in the pest management industry only, whether they work in the office or out in the field. Every attendee, speaker and vendor representative who exhibits at the event will be female.
“It’s important that women feel at ease at events like this,” she adds. “We want to encourage them to speak freely about things that really are important to us in the industry without fear of judgement.”
For example, some men roll their eyes when women talk about menstruating or comfortable underwear, things they need to be able to discuss with each other to find best practices specific to women in this industry, Myers-Botts explains.
“When men start snickering or rolling their eyes when these topics are brought up, a lot of women clam up and much needed discussion does not happen,” she says. “That’s why we are insistent that our conference, our Facebook group, and any other events we may host are for women only.”
This year, the organizers broadened the scope of the information that will be covered. Presentations will tackle such topics as search engine optimization (SEO) for small business and human resources tips for women in a male dominated industry.
“We also have a well-known bad ass woman opening the event to get us all pumped up,” Myers-Botts reveals. “Let’s just call her the Rat Queen of Manhattan!”
Also new this year, they will host on the first day of the two-day event an Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) exam for 10 attendees to help raise awareness of the professional certification among women.
“There are lots of technicians out there who do not even know this is the next level in their careers,” she says. “Every state has different requirements to be technicians, but this is a national program that really sets a pest management person apart as a true professional in the field.”
In the evening of day one of the event, a reception will be held to allow attendees to spend more time together, and with the sponsors, in a relaxed environment.
Registration for the second annual Women in Pest Control Conference is open now. Visit the Women in Pest Control Conference website for more information.