“Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards, and in high heels.” - Bob Thaves
Many campaigns have been launched championing women’s rights. Rosie the Riveter, burning of certain undergarments and marches rallying for “equal pay for equal work” have long been the battle cry for women. The cause has certainly died down some, but don’t let that fool you. Women are infiltrating every business, including the roofing industry.
While working all day in the hot sun may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, Sherra Anderson and Carrie Riddle can’t get enough of it. These two ladies are roofers and are currently on the job with Thurman Roofing in Stephenville.
“We are storm chasers,” said Riddle. “We go wherever the storms do and repair the damage.”
The ladies do not always work with Thurman, but are contracted out and travel the United States with boxes of shingles and thousands of tacking nails.
Riddle, who is originally from Missouri, and Anderson, who hails from Tennessee, both love to be outdoors and to “make people happy.”
Anderson is a newcomer to the world of roofing, but has already picked up on the trade, while Riddle is a three-year veteran.
The women start work at 6 a.m. most mornings in an attempt to beat the heat and try to finish up around 2 or 3 p.m., “before it gets too hot,” but that doesn’t deter them from having fun when they get done.
“We just like to go back home (the roofers stay in multiple RVs in a park), drink a few beers and play horseshoes,” Riddle said.
Spending most of their day hauling 85 pound shingle bundles, cleaning the work area and loading the trucks in the morning and evening can be a lot of work, but it is something that both say they truly enjoy.
“We get a tan,” explained Anderson.
When it comes to dealing with their mainly male co-workers, the women say, “You just have to deal with it,” although, they aren’t afraid to “tell them who’s boss.”