Women's History Month
Women's History Month
For International Women’s Day, I met with five of our female leaders in Integrated Supply Chain to learn more about what makes them so successful.
Nicole Carver – Site Leader, Deer Valley
Christiene Santos – Site Leader, Brazil
Virginia Shepardson – Senior Director, Strategic Sourcing
Cassandra Northup – Senior Director, Planning & Execution
Irene Garrastazu – Director, Advanced Manufacturing Engineering
What are you most proud of working in manufacturing/supply chain?
Nicole: The products that we make, the manufacturing technologies we have in our factories, and the people.
Virginia: I love working in Supply Chain because, at the end of the day, I feel like I made a difference. Whether it was in producing an end unit and shipping it to a customer, buying a piece of equipment for a site, buying an airplane for Honeywell Aerospace Training (HAT), seeing an APU that I helped build get installed on a plane, or planning how to spend our engineering dollars for the future. ISC is where it all happens. We see it all.
Why is Women's History Month important to you?
Christiene: It is an opportunity to reflect about many positive changes that have occurred worldwide to create equality and discuss further improvements to make the world a more equal place for everyone. It is also an opportunity to show the world and ourselves how capable we are to come up with ideas to execute our personal and professional goals.
Cassandra: It's important to me because I recognize the opportunities I have, compared to the opportunities my grandmother had less than a century ago. Learning about, reflecting on, and celebrating these women is an important part of our history.
How do we get more young women to pursue a career in manufacturing?
Irene: We need to start educating early and get the help of teachers and parents to differentiate myths from realities. For example, "Girls are not interested in Math and Science". Of course, we are.
Virginia: We can also lead by example and "just do it." Teach young women to be risk takers. I found that, at the age of 25, I was the youngest and only female supervisor on the shop floor running an Impeller cell. It was so rewarding every day to see the parts being made and to figure out how to make them faster, work with people and not be afraid.
Has gender played a critical role in your selection of mentors and sponsors? If so, what impact has this decision had on your career success?
Christiene: Any gender can be supportive and empower us to achieve our potential. I also believe that when women support each other, incredible things may happen.
Cassandra: Gender has certainly played a role in my selection of mentors. I have always been interested in successful women in business; how they got their start, their path to progression and obstacles they had to overcome. I think this had a tremendous impact on my success, enabling me to have a solid pool of resources to lean on for support.
What advice would you give your 15-year-old self?
Nicole: Don't worry about being a perfectionist, it will only cause you undue stress and prevent you from learning. Be comfortable being uncomfortable – that's when you are truly growing.
Irene: Dream big, girl! Your perseverance will eventually pay off.
What has been the most challenging obstacle in your career journey? How did you overcome this obstacle?
Nicole: The obstacle that challenges me the most is having the confidence in my ability to master a new role and deliver differentiated performance. The way I overcome this is by continuing to stretch myself and take on new roles that are entirely out of my comfort zone to prove to myself that I can do it. Each time I do this, I learn, grow, build my confidence, and become a better, well-rounded leader.
Irene: Breaking the glass ceiling. As a woman, and as Latin woman, there is this invisible barrier I have had to break on my professional career which I have been able to smash through with perseverance, assertiveness, and hard work.
Why do you find your job rewarding?
Virginia: I find my job rewarding because I know that every day I can make a difference. I can solve a tough problem, and I can see the results of the work I do. I love knowing that the decisions I make impact our revenue, inventory, margin and costs. I want to see our company succeed!
Cassandra: I feel empowered to make decisions within my area of business. I love to knowledge share, especially where it can help improve the way others work. I also enjoy developing solutions for challenging issues.