This post is inspired by the article, “Women’s Work: A Glimpse at the Changing Face of Manufacturing”. Reading this post made me think about how I found myself in the world of manufacturing. After reading the article, I believe it really does mean something different to be a woman in the field. I don’t work in a factory every day or take part of ongoing manufacturing operations but I’ve logged plenty of hours implementing manufacturing execution systems. (MES) I know it’s important to wear your PSE (personal safety equipment) and that the manufacturing plant is an organism where the line doesn’t run without the operators, function together without the engineers, or achieve standards without the quality team in place (to name a few).
When I was hired for my first implementation I was not quite sure what MES was or what I was getting myself into. After a week of on-boarding, I was sent off to my first assignment. I found myself in a requirements workshop for a brand new manufacturing facility. After a few days it clicked what we were doing and I fell in love.
I wouldn’t say I’ve faced any unique challenges as a woman in manufacturing. Except that I don’t think any of my male colleagues were called a “southern belle” by line operators. Honestly, I don’t mind that because they knew I was there to make their operator interfaces run smoothly and that I was serious about the system implementation. In my experience, things are just as Cathrine, from the article, said, “delivering results will trump gender bias every time.”
A great mentor will invest time, candidly give feedback on how to improve, and help navigate career choices.
I’ve had many role models, both male and female, who have inspired me to be the best business analyst, trainer, and team leader that I can be. I would definitely recommend a career in manufacturing or one related to it. You get the opportunity to create the world we live in and that’s not something just anyone can do.
Comment with your experiences working in manufacturing or IT. What’s your favorite part of the job?