More than a quarter of PMPs said their company’s workforce is more diverse today than it was a year ago, found the 2018 PCT-NPMA Workplace Diversity Survey.

Women now represent a larger percentage of employees, reported 17 percent of PMPs. They also cited increases in African Americans (8 percent), other non-white races (8 percent) and veterans (6 percent).

The change is visible at NPMA’s annual PestWorld conference. Ravi Sachdeva, American Pest Management, recalled when he and Sid Shah, owner of Arab Termite and Pest Control in Indianapolis, were “the only brown faces” in the crowd 20 years ago.

Emilio Polce, Eco Choice Termite & Pest Control, brought his two teen daughters to the 2018 event. “I look at them and see the future,” he said.

“This is my 13th PestWorld and every year I come, I see more diversity walking the hallways. I see it. Are we there yet? No,” said Sylvia Kenmuir, Target Specialty Products.

“Diversity is a challenge for business owners. It adds one more layer to the operational puzzle,” admitted Audrey Hall, Eco Serve Pest Services.