'I Love My Job’: Why This Director’s Favorite Aspect of Her Job ‘Is Hands Down the People’

Sponsored by GAF

Jennifer Keegan

Photo courtesy of GAF.

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Fairygodboss
July 21, 2024 at 12:27AM UTC

Welcome to I Love My Job, hosted by Fairygodboss President and Co-founder Romy Newman. In this edition, we sat down with Jennifer Keegan — Director of Building and Roofing Science at GAF and WISE (Women Inspiring Sustained Equity) employee resource group (ERG) lead.

For Keegan, there’s no question about why she loves GAF. “My favorite thing about GAF is hands down the people,” says Keegan. At GAF, people are truly their best assets, and this strong community results in a “desire to connect, collaborate and celebrate together, both professionally and personally,” notes Keegan. 

GAF’s infectious culture is seen throughout an employee's journey — even before joining the company! In interviews she’s been involved with, Keegan says that “every candidate has commented on how much every employee they have met is truly excited about their job, respects their company and loves their colleagues.”

This culture is key to loving your job. As Keegan says, “We spend too much time at work to not really enjoy the people that we work with!”

In the following video, Keegan shares more details about her exciting work, the culture at GAF and top advice for other women looking to join the company. We’ll also share a few abbreviated highlights from this video discussion in the following article.


Could you tell us about your job?

Being the director of building and roofing science is actually a lot of fun. We get to help designers make informed decisions so they can provide their client with the best possible route given project constraints and help them mitigate their risk. It's really all focused around the science behind risk system performance. But it really means that I get to reach out into the industry, engage in that community and really build trust with these influencers in our industry.

What is your favorite thing about your job?

My team!... We get to be continually challenged, and I get to recruit this talent — people who are really interested and love what they do. And we challenge the status quo! We are building and expanding on our content, we innovate the way that our company is approaching business and we have a ton of fun doing it.

Tell us about a project you're working on that you find really exciting. 

So this is actually a really exciting time at GAF. We've just launched a very focused, dedicated part of the business called GAF Commercial. So we're growing, we're investing and we're reinventing ourselves. Previously, we were very much a commercial business shoved in a residential market approach. And so we're taking off that shell, and we're starting from scratch and we’re re-inventing here. 

I'm [also] currently working with this parallel effort here. We have an employee resource group that’s going on in the company, and it’s really formed this inclusion and diversity task force. We get to really pull in our employees and make this a really exciting time to have employee voices and build comradery throughout this employee-led programming. It's really inspiring, and I'm just so proud of the growth that I've seen in the company over the past few years of being here.

How would you describe the culture at GAF?

Honestly, right now, with all this growth and change, it's like a breath of fresh air. And, within it, there's this new level of honesty, with the whole rebuilding of the commercial business — it’s really challenging old thoughts and processes.

They're investing in the leaders in the company, and they're challenging the way that we've done things. It's really an open-minded culture right now. And we're really empowering our employees to make a difference. It's a great time in the organization!

What’s the management at GAF like?

The company's management is very much invested in the organization and its people… The first part of any narrative is [always about] the importance of our people and our talent, so our HR team has really curated these amazing professional training opportunities throughout the past few years. There's opportunities to engage with Franklin Covey training programs, 360° reviews, leadership and management training and even financial training. And there's been a fair amount of innovation and expansion in this area — it’s been a lot of fun to be a part of all this.

What advice would you give to other women who are thinking about working at GAF?

To get involved! Get involved internally with the company and externally with the industry. There's so many opportunities to learn and contribute and give back. And, all of this is leading toward deeper connections. 

Internally, we have opportunities like WISE, which is an employee resource group called Women Inspiring Sustained Equity. Becoming engaged with that movement and saying, ‘This is the difference I want to see in that organization and how can I contribute?’ It really opens a lot of doors for expanding your network within the organization and evoking some change. 

And then, externally, I'm involved with a lot of industry associations in terms of that technical side. There's an organization called National Women in Roofing. And, so, I sit on the exec board there, and getting involved has opened so many doors within the industry, which benefits my company professionally. And it invests so much personally on my own. 

So, really, just look — seek out those opportunities and invest the time.

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