Women shaping the industry
During this week to celebrate the International Women's Day 2019, Kalmar has been showcasing strong women who are shaping the industry in our social media channels. Meet five of our super ladies who are making an impact on our business and industry every day.
As a market leader Kalmar is able to shape the future of the industry. We have been pioneers for decades, introducing several industry-firsts to the market. Today, we are driving the transformation of cargo and material handling through openness and collaboration as well as with innovative, digitally enabled, and eco-efficient solutions.
Kalmar has spectacular people of both genders all across the globe. Shushu Zhang, Magdalena Wojtowicz, Gina Lopez, Deb Houk and Erika Barbosa are great role models who explain what it feels like to be a woman and work with heavy machinery and technical solutions and what they think defines their success. The key is to do what you love and believe in yourself. Everything else will follow.
Shushu Zhang, VP, Kalmar, Great China
“Personal confidence is much more important than gender. I don't think anything is particularly hard in our line of business due to my gender. What matters in the long run is our competence, dedication and resilience. Sometimes I feel the energy changing when I step in a meeting room full of men. I don't think that is negative - rather I think my gender helps me stand out. I've heard people talking about "the lady from Kalmar China" who is short but turns out to be strong.
One thing that might be different is that perhaps for us it is more natural to share appreciation and express feelings. When I started my career, my mother always spoke proudly about me and my job. She passed away a few years ago. Now I have a daughter of my own. Whenever I have the chance, I tell her about my work: making the world a better place in which to live and work by helping big boxes move around.”
Magdalena Wojtowicz, VP Supply Chain
“I think that our personal characteristics define our way to success. One great strength that women have is the ability to handle different roles in our lives and it is so much about keeping the right balance. Combining professional achievement and personal fulfillment is definitely not an easy task. Personally being a super mom, an inspirational leader, high professional and running a business line all at the same time is a challenge but that is what continuously drives me forward and keeps my energy level high.
Currently our industry might seem masculine, but our business is transforming. Digitalisation impacts the way we run operations and it will change the way we bring services to our customers. Serving automation and keeping equipment up and running in the future might require more of a software skills and using digital tools. Would it encourage more women to join us working in factory operations or workshops as service technicians bringing performance to our Customers?
To shape the industry, we need to stay competitive and serve the customers in the best possible way, and greater gender diversity in our operations could be a way to move forward.”
Gina Lopez, VP, Terminal Tractors
“Sometimes people assume that I need to act like one of the guys working in a masculine industry and organisation. The truth is that I don't need to be one of the guys to collaborate. I need to be a colleague. Your ability to be strategic and perform are the things that are measured and are important to our leadership. I think that women tend to be natural problem solvers. When we talk about customer centricity, my style is that I ask questions and I actively listen to our customers and market representatives regarding the challenges and problems that they need to solve. Then, I work with my team to incorporate both near and longer term solutions to those challenges into the solutions that we develop.
I started my career in industrial automation 19 years ago and that background lead me to Kalmar and the Cargotec family 12 years ago. I think the challenge in the industry like this is that we have talented people who don't always get enough opportunities to show what they can do. Our company culture is actively creating opportunities for a more diverse pool of talented professionals regardless of gender, nationality or background. When people see that we as a company have ladies that are leaders in the company and the industry, it creates engagement and hope for the next generation and they will strive for more than just accepting the way it is today. One of my most important tasks in being a leader is inspiring and developing that next generation of leaders and they will for sure be more diverse than the existing one.”
Deb Houk, Utility team member
“I have never looked at it as men vs. women. My job is something I have always enjoyed doing. I’ve been given the ability to work with my hands and mind. Some men can do it, some can’t. Some women can do it, some can’t. Some people believe men vs. women. I believe in people trying to do something they enjoy doing and survive doing it, whatever it might be. I want to thank those people who told me that women could not do what men can do. Along with my Grandma, Mom, Aunt, Dad, friends and co-workers they all pushed me and encouraged me to find the will and the way and applications to succeed in whatever I wanted to do.
The way I feel I’m able to shape the industry is my willingness to listen, learn, ask why, do investigation, keep an open mind, apply myself, work hard, make my own path the right way as my mind and heart tells me. Don’t make snap decisions as details are more important than the first judgment. “
Erika Barbosa, VP - Sales & Service Latin America
"For over 25 years, I've always been working in heavy industry and all the time I've been working with a lot of men. I've participated in many meetings where I've been the only woman, and luckily I've never experienced anything different from respect, support and commitment. I've noted that people automatically assume that I'm a strong woman since I have made it in this industry. However I don't think it has anything to do with my gender - I am as strong as my male colleagues and have to face the same barriers. I think that success is just a matter of determination and how disciplined and persevering you are. One thing that I want to say to young women is that there are no jobs that would be only for men. Be brave enough to take the challenge and apply for the job that you want.
In Latin America our goal at Kalmar is to ensure consistent and profitable growth in the region. To do that we are challenging ourselves and putting the right capabilities in place to ensure that we are able to support them in any issue they might have. We are a World Class Company, and we need to show why we are able to shape the industry. At Kalmar it is our people who make the difference."
If you would like to learn more about open opportunities at Kalmar, you can find all our open positions here: https://www.kalmarglobal.com/about-us/people-careers/