Editor’s note: The first annual Women in Pest Control (WIPC) was held Aug. 23 in Austin, Texas. Linde Mills of Nisus Corporation was in attendance and provided the following recap.
Women from across the nation made history together as they attended the first annual Women in Pest Control (WIPC) conference in Austin, TX last Friday. With more 100 women in attendance, this conference boasted all women attendees, speakers and vendors.
Bobbie Terry, owner of The Bug Lady Pest Control, founded the WIPC group Facebook page on May 2, 2017. In January of this year, Bobbie and Lisa Meyers-Botts, co-owner of WIPC and owner of Peacock Pest Prevention, began publicly discussing the possibility of some meet-up groups. They had such positive feedback that it quickly evolved into a full-blown conference. They determined that this was important opportunity to encourage close collaboration between PCOs, distributors and manufacturers, not only for making knowledge more accessible, but also for the dissemination of diverse content that promotes gender equality.
“I can't believe how just asking the ladies in the group if anyone would be interested in a meet-and-greet once a year blew into a conference,” Bobbie says. “The next thing we knew, phones, email and messenger were blowing up with people wanting to help. We are so grateful for all the support and help. I believe this is only going to get bigger and better!” Attendees spent the day learning from the most inspiring professional women in the industry as well as networking with women who were facing some of the same struggles. Lisa is still amazed at the response and says, “I still can't believe the support, it was so amazing for all of these women to come together and make this happen."
This special conference is designed to help female pest control operators develop themselves professionally and find fulfillment in their work and beyond. There are no limits to what can be accomplished when equipped with the right tools and the right attitude while being fully supported by your peers and mentors. The steps taken to join the forces of women in pest control for one positive purpose is an effort worthy of inspiration, as those who attended gained fresh perspective and a new excitement about their industry.
The WIPC Facebook group page has exploded to almost 500 members. The next WIPC conference is scheduled for September 25, 2020 in Houston, Texas.