Title: Department head, customer service, industrial products and AIC couplings
Shurte has been in the hose industry just about five years, and knew early on it was a male-dominated business.
"I noticed that before I ever stepped into a trade show," she said. "Just coming into the office, speaking to people on the phone. Many times, they say they want to speak to who's in charge. I say, 'That's me.' And they say, 'No, I want to speak to a guy.' "
Shurte said she also has been at different conferences or meetings with other engineers where "maybe I felt as they looked at me as maybe not as qualified as somebody else to make a decision."
But she has received strong support from her company colleagues, including the CEO and president. Shurte believes Unaflex was ahead of its time in bringing women into the industry, noting that her predecessor was in the position for 24 years.
"I think the atmosphere we've developed here definitely encourages a healthy standpoint to go into these instances where maybe other companies are not used to seeing that female face, and it gives you the confidence to stand your ground and speak up, and not be afraid to be heard," Shurte said.