Manufacturing is predominantly a male-first industry, but things have changed in the last few years. Women have emerged as leaders, and there are many more who want to break the glass ceiling. While things look challenging on this front, it can be easy if you take the right approach. Success for female entrepreneurs in the industry takes more than shattering the gender bias. You need to know the domain well enough to reach the top. Here is some inspiring advice from women who have succeeded in doing so.
Determine your goals
Successful women in the industry emphasize the value of goals. Determine them early and create a roadmap to reach them. For example, you may want to double up your plant’s capacity in the next five years or have an additional facility in a decade. Clear and realistic goals keep you going as they motivate you not to give up, no matter how long and daunting the road seems.
Be open to learning
As you step into the industry, you will realize that there is a lot to learn. You must be willing to give your best and learn as you go. Even women with engineering backgrounds cannot rely on education alone. Success hinges on hands-on experience, and you can get it only by working in the plant. Be open to the idea, even if it sounds unconventional. It will definitely get you at par with the men around.
Pay attention to details
Focus on learning gives you a great start, but it isn’t enough to sustain and grow in a male-dominated field. You need to pay attention to details because the industry runs on thousands of moving parts. From machinery to engines, generators, and dry lubricant coatings, brush up your knowledge on everything that keeps your plant running. Know the challenges and risks, and have a strategy to address them when you need to. Attention to detail keeps you from losing control at any point.
Build supportive relationships
Supportive relationships are crucial for women in manufacturing. Convincing people about your abilities is a tad easier if you have them on your side. You will probably have to work hard to connect with men in your workforce, but it is the best place to start. Once you have their support, getting vendors, partners, and stakeholders on your side will be a breeze. When you have them all on your side, nothing can stop you from succeeding.
Find a mentor
The industrial domain is fraught with challenges, and there are no shortcuts for women. You have to learn and grow the hard way. But a mentor can make the journey easy and smooth. Find someone who has been there, and dealt with the same struggle, and a successful woman can be the right one. Connect with the leaders at events or reach out on social media. You will not have to do a lot of work to find a perfect mentor.
Breaking the barrier may not be easy, but it shouldn’t stop you from trying your luck as an industrial entrepreneur. Follow these worthy pieces of advice, and you can reach the top effortlessly.