Changing the Perception: Interviews Part 2

Below is our second set of interviews with 3 women who work in manufacturing.

 

Name: Kim H.

Do you think there is a stigma attached to the industry that keeps young women from entering it?  YES I think so…..I think it comes from lack of exposure and lack of information out there on the field in general. The industry needs to be more present in colleges and career fairs. More education and information would certainly alleviate the intimidation women might feel going into manufacturing.

What unique qualities and perspectives do you think women bring to leadership?

I think they bring a very fresh approach. The ones I know are no nonsense get it done type of women. They make sound decisions and execute them quickly and efficiently. They know what needs to be done and are results oriented. Women are also just better at multi-tasking. They are able to juggle many tasks at the same time and achieve outstanding results. They are also very good at anticipating issues before they develop into major problems. And by nature we ask A LOT of questions!

What about leadership in the manufacturing/industrial sector?

 It still seems to be very male dominated

What progress has been made in integrating women into the manufacturing/industrial sector?

I think there has been a great deal of progress….still more to make. In my generation I would never have thought to go into purchasing in the manufacturing/industrial sector. It was an avenue I had never heard about or even thought about. It is great to see younger women entering the industrial sector.

What do you think has kept women from getting more of a share of the leadership in the industry? First of all there are less women than men in the industry. It is still male dominated. Women are making progress however it is still a man’s world

What more do you think should be done to further women in the industry?

More education for women. More seminars, professional organizations,

What are you seeing with regard to women in the industry now that inspires you?

It is very inspiring to me to see so many women in the company where I work in very important positions and in all age brackets. They are still not the majority…however the ones I have had contact with are very smart and very knowledgeable. They do not mess around…they get the job done quickly and efficiently.


Interview :  Megan Bartelli

Company: Beacon Fasteners

 Do you think there is a stigma attached to the industry that keeps young women from entering it? Perhaps. When I started interviewing for a position in this industry I had no experience with fasteners. I also thought that nuts, bolts, and screws are not very glamorous or exciting products to sell and I’m sure other women feel or have felt the same way too. However, it wasn’t until I accepted my job offer and had the privilege of working with great mentors and amazing people that my view about this industry changed. So if you keep an open mind, are willing to learn, and work hard you can sell anything, including fasteners… and can have some fun with it along the way!

 What unique qualities and perspectives do you think women bring to leadership?

Driven, positive attitude, a great work ethic, strong communication skills, and persistence.

 What more do you think should be done to further women in the industry?

Men and Women mentors for a strong support system and more opportunities for continuous learning through industry and non-industry training programs to support business success and growth.


Interview: Melissa Patel

Company: Field

 Do you think there is a stigma attached to the industry that keeps young women from entering it?

I think the assumption from outsiders is manufacturing is dirty, labor intensive and old school.  I am sure this thought process can deter a women looking for career opportunities.  With that said, the closer you become to the industry you realize the vast amount of technology, automation and forward thinking companies there really are.  The job responsibilities are endless within a manufacturing company and not limited to operating a machine.

What I enjoy about the fastener industry is although it is a global market it is still very tight knit.  There are many family owned organizations that focus on the team of people within their organizations and sustaining that environment.

What unique qualities and perspectives do you think women bring to leadership? And specifically in the manufacturing/industrial sector?

I am not one to really focus on gender roles.  I think that both women and men share similar traits in:  strategic thought, encouragement, and development of the team and driving results.  I don’t think your gender makes you more or less successful in these areas.

What progress has been made in integrating women into the manufacturing/industrial sector?

I think in general more needs to be done to get quality people into the manufacturing sector, not specifically women.  In talking to many people within the fastener industry there is a shortage globally of people that want to run machinery which is causing many organizations to develop apprentice programs.  I think educational components in high school, vocational school and community college is extremely important.  I don’t believe that all people need a 4-year bachelors degree to be successful.  Communities within our country need to recognize the important of manufacturing in both employment and revenue.  Manufacturers need to have a louder voice to have communities structure course content and site visits to encourage the youth to look into roles within manufacturing as a promising career path.

What do you think has kept women from getting more of a share of the leadership in the industry?

I don’t think it is a secret that the percent of women in leadership is not as high as men.  Women in leadership positions is not balanced appropriately to that of the population.  With that said there seems to have been movement in the positive direction with ways to go.  I am a firm believer that the content of the results someone obtains should be the sole reason they are promoted to leadership.  I don’t think it should be because they are a woman or not BUT what do the results show.  I do think organizations need to be open to giving women the opportunity to prove themselves just as they would a man.