This is the second in a series saluting women in the plumbing and HVAC trades, from manufacturing to turning wrenches in the field. As the trades face a shortage of skilled workers, it’s essential to attract, train and promote more women. If there is a woman you think is worthy of recognition, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Tricia Musgrave and Viega LLC were on separate upward trajectories when their paths crossed.
Viega, then located in Bedford, Mass., was ready to expand. Musgrave, two years out of college, worked in communications for Vanguard Piping Systems of McPherson, Kan. When Viega bought Vanguard in 2005 and relocated its headquarters to Kansas, she had to decide whether to stick with her new employer.
“I was excited to see how Viega promoted from within,” she said. So she stayed and, 15 years later, she is proof of that company practice.
Now Director of Technical Marketing, Musgrave oversees a team responsible for codes and standards, regulatory compliance, project management, product data and technical literature.
She is recognized for her accomplishments in the annual “Women in PHCP” issue of Plumbing Engineer. This year’s issue salutes 10 women leaders in addition to Musgrave. Other women on the list are leaders in marketing, sales, sourcing and supplies for manufacturers and contractors.
Musgrave said she’s never regretted the decision to stay with Viega.
“I am a farmer’s daughter, so I grew up appreciating the value of hard work and understanding the importance of helping your neighbor. It is no surprise to me now that I gravitated toward a company that has similar values to my own,” she said.
“The most satisfying part about working at Viega is feeling like you are part of something. They empower their employees and give you freedom to work your own plan. They believe in people,” she said. “It feels good to be trusted and involved in decision making and asked to collaborate. Viega has become my second family.”
She’s proud to be part of an industry demonstrating its indispensability during the pandemic. “I like the stability of working for an industry that is essential. Everyone needs plumbing. I just wish more people found working in the trades attractive,” she said.
Though she works in a male-dominated field, Musgrave said she is not overshadowed.
“Sometimes you feel like you have to be more assertive or fight for your voice to be heard. Talking loudly is one area I have never struggled with. What is more important is to be heard. You can be direct and transparent without being abrasive or confrontational,” she said.
While Plumbing Engineer’s salute marks progress made, it’s also a reminder there is more to do. Women in the Workplace 2019, a comprehensive study of women in corporate America, found that women are still significantly underrepresented in senior leadership. The biggest obstacle to leadership is a failure to promote women to the first step of manager, the report stated.
We salute Musgrave and the other women leaders at Viega and elsewhere in this industry. Your contributions are invaluable.