Black History Month: Dave Williams Discusses Industry Diversity and Discrimination
Dave Williams entered the window tinting segment in 1994. Today, he owns DavesTint in Shreveport, La., and has grown alongside the industry. Williams feels acceptance in 2023, but the road hasn’t always been easy.
WF: What is your proudest industry accomplishment?
Williams: My proudest accomplishment is starting my own business. For many years, I worked for different window tint companies. I learned a lot, but there’s nothing like working for yourself. I made a lot of people a lot of money, and I finally felt like I had the opportunity to make myself some money.
WF: You’ve seen the industry evolve in various ways. Where does our industry stand when it comes to diversity?
Williams: I think the industry has improved. There’s always room for improvement, but when I first started learning how to tint windows, it was hard to find someone Black who tinted. You didn’t see many Black people in the industry at all. I’ve had moments where I’ve dealt with discrimination, but I don’t see much of that anymore. You don’t see many Black [sales] reps or owners when it comes to window film distribution. But it’s come a long way.
WF: What is one instance of discrimination you faced in the industry?
Williams: I had a friend who was one of the guys I trained. He was a white guy, and we were really good friends. We became close as I trained him, and we worked at the same shop. But when we left that particular shop, we went in different directions. We wound up meeting again at another shop. But we had an issue with the owner, and we quit on the same day. We both applied for a job across town. The owner told us both that he would hire us. But the owner called my friend and told him, ‘I can use you, but I can’t use your guy.’ I had more experience. My friend was such a good person—he’s not with us anymore—that he decided not to take the job because he wouldn’t hire me.
WF: Overall, how have you been treated in this industry?
Williams: I want to shout out the guys who are here locally—white guys that are some of the best friends and business owners in the industry. We network very well. I don’t feel any discrimination from them at all. I don’t get that feeling, and I haven’t for a long time. I appreciate it.
WF: How can the industry create more opportunities for Black people?
Williams: What we’re starting to do as an industry is give more and more Black people opportunities and recognition; acknowledging that we are here and trying to be just as good as anyone else. I’ve seen more of that over the years.
February is Black History Month, and WINDOW FILM magazine plans to recognize and feature Black professionals and business owners working in the window film industry. If you are a Black window film professional or would like to nominate an individual or business, please email Chris Collier at email@example.com. Click here for our first spotlight article.