TMA Leaders featured in "Women Breaking the Mold" discussion

ITASCA - Two TMA members were featured at a "Women Breaking the Mold" panel discussion hosted by Plastics News May 12th, 2017.  The conversation centered around the unique challenges women face in manufacturing. 

Patricia Miller, CEO of Matrix 4 Inc., said biases against women can still be found in other industries outside of manufacturing, when a woman's presence is "unexpected."

But even in manufacturing, Miller said customers "don't look at me as an owner. They look to my older teammates, or male teammates, as decision-makers," she said. "But, I think ultimately, if you know what you're capable of and you're good at what you do, then you can overcome that."

Stacey Bales, president and owner of Bales Metal Surfaces Solutions, said men at her company have no problem speaking up if they feel they aren't paid enough, or if they work harder than other colleagues. Women, however, "keep to themselves, they're there on time every day, they work really hard, they're focused, but for some reason they just don't normally speak up," Bales said.

Which is why, said Bales, communication is the key to her business' culture. She said always having an open door helps alleviate a lot of problems early on, before they become bigger issues, and reaching out to the women employees in particular helps keep them engaged.

More on the discussion at "Plastic News" 
Photo:From left,:Stacey Bales, Patricia Miller, Akemi Mitchell and Kristi Weichmann on the Plastics News Women Breaking the Mold panel.