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"There should be a focus on educating parents, because they have a tremendous influence on their children’s interests and what they are exposed to."
What attracted you to a career in manufacturing?
Seeing the impact manufacturing jobs have on the community. I also love being where things are made, and working in a fast-paced environment. In manufacturing, you can have direct hands-on experience and learn so much. I love being able to make a difference.
What has made you a successful leader in manufacturing?
I have been beyond blessed to have many informal mentors/coaches who have helped me (and still do) along the way. This has been through informal meetings, career advice and helping me manage difficult situations. One of the key things to always keep in mind is that everyone knows something you do not, so you have the opportunity to constantly learn through others.
What stereotypes about manufacturing, or women in manufacturing, have you come across?
We need to focus on parents! The reason many young women may not know about the opportunities is because their parents do not know, or their parents have an outdated perception of what manufacturing is and what it offers. There should be a focus on educating parents, because they have a tremendous influence on their children’s interests and what they are exposed to.
What else can we do as an industry to drive more women into manufacturing?
I think it is critical that organizations stay involved in their communities. Attending career days and supporting tech-ed programs are ways to help correct the perception of manufacturing and promote all of the wonderful opportunities. Many schools do not have well-developed tech-ed programs, so organizations should be focusing on sponsoring them to increase awareness of manufacturing.
What would the REAL Rosie say about women in manufacturing today?
We've come a long way!
What advice would you give women, or anyone interested in entering this industry?
Manufacturing careers are such a solid foundation for anyone, and I would argue all of the skills you learn in manufacturing are very transferable. Manufacturing is also very rewarding. Being around where things are made and where you can directly affect processes gives you information you may not get elsewhere.
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Elena and Abby bring you innovative stories from the workplace.