From managers to mothers: women are manufacturing’s largest talent pool. | So Good News


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Karen Crisp installs a safety device between the yellow barrels at the factory.
Karen Crisp has spent 23 years in the manufacturing industry.

Karen Crisp has spent 23 years managing two Sealed Air manufacturing facilities in North Carolina and working inside the facilities. So I don’t need to tell her about the challenges women face in manufacturing. She is alive.

A busy mother and active community member, Crisp serves as a mentor and advocate for bringing more women into the industry. In some ways, It’s a simple message.

“Manufacturing is not a dirty job; That’s not a man’s job,” he said.

If only it were that easy.

Women in Science technology The fields of engineering and mathematics have long faced barriers to entry. once in a while They often face challenges ranging from glass ceilings to gender norms and unconscious biases.

Women make up 47.5% of the U.S. workforce, but hold less than a third of jobs in the manufacturing sector, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

At worst, According to a 2021 study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, one in four women is underpaid; A lack of flexible schedule options was found to be their top three reasons for considering leaving the workplace.

Day care schools closed, As schools move online, gender inequality only increases during the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to stay at home.

“The pandemic has really highlighted our need for workplace flexibility,” said AJ Jorgenson, vice president of strategic programs at the Manufacturers Institute, the nonprofit workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers. Sealed Air is a member of the association, and the company’s CEO, Ted Doheny, serves on its board of directors. “I don’t just mean remote jobs…when I have a doctor’s appointment, When you have a sick child… it means being able to support.”

She adds that men are starting to demand the same work-life balance as women.

Matters of Representation

Deloitte According to a 2015 study by the Manufacturing Institute and the APICS Supply Chain Council (now called the Association for Supply Chain Management), women make up the largest pool of untapped talent in the United States. By closing the gender gap, companies can reduce turnover and increase innovation and engagement.

By August 2021, 24.7% of Sealed Air’s global workforce and 19.8% of the company’s US supply chain will be women. Earlier this year, the company announced that diversity, A commitment to equality and inclusion has been announced; He outlined plans to create a more diverse workforce, including increasing Sealed Air’s workforce to more than 30% gender diversity worldwide by 2025.

The Benchmark Study 2020, produced by Thomas, an industrial resource and marketing firm in partnership with Women in Manufacturing, a national trade association, found a positive correlation between female leadership and female employee representation. However, only 27 percent of female respondents felt strongly about career advancement opportunities at their current employers.

“The top difference between women and men is that women look for role models throughout their careers,” says Jorgenson. “Men typically look to C-suite leadership; That’s what role models want to see. The women said, ‘Three years, five years They want to know who they will be in 10 years.”

These different approaches are science, technology They hope to inspire the next generation through mentorship programs and the University of Manufacturing Technology’s STEP Ahead Awards for their leadership in engineering and manufacturing (STEP) careers.

Sealed Air has honored six women in the nine years since the Manufacturing Institute awarded it. Sealed Air’s 2021 honoree Susanne Troutt is director of films planning for the company’s global food and shrink packaging business, formerly one of the world’s largest plants in Simpsonville, Calif. He was the manager for its manufacturing plant in South Carolina. Troutt attended the awards ceremony last year in Washington, D.C., based at the Productivity Institute.

“Being nominated made me realize that I was an important part of the team and made a significant contribution,” Troutt said.

Changing the conversation.

flexible; We also need to address business perceptions of younger generations of workers, including women, while increasing representation and recognition. That’s where plant manager Crisp comes in, determined to make an impact.

As one of only four female plant managers at Sealed Air, which operates 106 plants worldwide, Crisp has worked for the company her entire career. Starting as an intern, Crisp soon landed a full-time position and worked various jobs throughout the company’s supply chain organization before becoming manager of Sealed Air’s two manufacturing facilities in North Carolina. Two buildings feature BUBBLE WRAP® brand bubble cushioning; We make protective packaging products such as SEALED AIR® brand Korrvu® preservation and suspension packaging and BUBBLE WRAP® brand cushion paper mailers.

While there are no typical days in her role as plant manager, Crisp is busy analyzing operations; Spend time understanding the obstacles teams face and identifying resources and solutions to address those issues.

When she first transitioned into an administrative role, Crisp struggled to accept that she could only accomplish so much each day. “If I promise to do something, I want to deliver,” she said. “But as responsibilities increase, time management becomes key,” he said. But to learn to make time for yourself.”

Crisp is sure to share this view with others. She said she often sees managers and operators struggling with similar issues and wants to celebrate their small wins while doing everything within their control. “It’s about success as an organization and as a team,” she said.

taking care of two children; House keeping and 24 hours a day; Running two manufacturing plants that run seven days a week, Crisp has learned to schedule for the “transition from manager to mom,” she says. He said.

In 2018, Crisp was honored with a STEP Ahead Award, which allowed her to expand her reach by connecting with other women in the industry, hearing their challenges and learning from their experiences. Since then, Crisp has used those connections and her passion for her community to impact generations.

“Prior to COVID, we toured facilities and showed local middle school, high school and community college students the protective packaging industry and the types of job opportunities Sealed Air offers here,” Crisp said.

Similarly, Troutt shares her knowledge with the women of Sealed Air about different career paths in manufacturing. After transitioning into her current role, Troutt suggested replacing her with a woman she had mentored for 10 years, who started her career in the customer service department.

“All opportunities within the manufacturing industry require the right people to educate others and serve as coaches when needed,” Troutt said.

Moving Forward

From creating diversity programs and offering flexible work options to mentoring and recognizing women. There are many ways that manufacturing can address the challenges facing women today and tap into its largest talent pool.

Society is becoming more gender inclusive, but in the manufacturing industry, “we have a long way to go,” Jorgenson said. She suggests that manufacturers need to consider proactive and ongoing engagement with women. “I think time will tell.” I look forward to it very much.”

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See about.

Sealed Air (NYSE: SEE) to prevent critical packaging challenges; We are in business to solve and make our world better than we found it. Our automated packaging solutions are safer, promoting a more resilient and less wasteful global food supply chain; Enables e-commerce and protects goods shipped around the world.

Our globally recognized brands include CRYOVAC® brand food packaging; SEALED AIR® brand protective packaging; AUTOBAG® brand automation systems; BUBBLE WRAP® brand packaging; including SEE Automation™ solutions and prismiq™ smart packaging solutions.

SEE’s operating model is materials, With our industry-leading expertise in engineering and technology; more sustainable; Create value with automated and digitally connected packaging solutions.

We are more environment, Leading the packaging industry in creating a socially and economically sustainable future, we are committed to making 100% of our packaging materials reusable or recyclable by 2025. Our Global Impact on Our Global Operations by 2040 report highlights how the future of the packaging industry is shaping up. We are committed to our 2025 Diversity, a diverse workforce and care through a commitment to equity and inclusion; We are committed to an inclusive culture.

SEE has sales of $5.5 billion by 2021 and approximately 16,500 employees serving customers in 114 countries/territories. To learn more Visit

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