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In our January 2022 Women In PHCP spotlight, we invite you to meet Laura Cozart, Senior Category Manager – Connected Home Products for Ferguson Enterprises!
PHCPPros: What is your role in the PHCP industry?
Cozart: My role is to drive strategy within the connected home category nationwide to our home service contractors. My team’s goal is to support and strengthen the value contractors bring to their customers with the substantial demand this category brings.
PHCPPros: How and why did you decide to enter a career in the PHCP industry?
Cozart: I interviewed with Ferguson HVAC when I graduated from college. While my personal background and experience were unrelated to the industry, the managers I met during the interview process were phenomenal. The leadership, culture, and commitment to our associates within Ferguson made the decision easy for me! I am proud to have celebrated my 15th anniversary last summer.
PHCPPros: What have been some of your career highlights?
Cozart: Being a part of change and leading newly created teams during my career that have been focused on e-commerce and how the smart home industry has been integral towards change management for both our contractor customers and our associates. I also serve on a leadership team for our LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group, Building Pride, which has been a personally and professionally enriching experience.
PHCPPros: What are your thoughts on mentorship for women?
Cozart: Mentorship has had a significant impact for me personally; I’ve had the support and guidance from two wonderful leaders, Scott Hager and Vance Stillman, since I first began my career. They are an important part of my life today and have unequivocally supported me. The strength of our leader mentors has allowed me to develop working relationships with women within our company who I now consider to be peer mentors, and we all coach and encourage each other.
PHCPPros: What do you think the PHCP industry can do to better recruit and retain women?
Cozart: The industry should bring visibility to the women who are here today and showcase the various backgrounds that bring them into the industry. Highlight their traits and strengths so that other women can see their own potential, rather than potentially dismiss an opportunity because of industry unfamiliarity or inexperience.
We also need to acknowledge and prioritize the reasons why women do not apply or stay in the industry and take action to address ways to increase female membership. The PHCP industry needs to hear the voices of women to know how to best support and create ways to recruit. Unfortunately, the gender workforce disparity was highlighted during the past year, and we can do more to avoid such disruption to women specifically.
Do you know someone you would like to nominate for our Women In PHCP newsletter series? Email PHCPPros Digital Strategy Manager Nicole Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org!