What drew you to the rubber industry, and what has made your career in the industry rewarding?
I was drawn to the rubber industry because of its stability, and the different challenges that arise in this area. I find overcoming these challenges in this industry quite rewarding.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?
One of my greatest achievements has been managing to complete my collegiate career in four years and earn a BA in chemistry amid having a child my sophomore year in college. Society and most women would have seen my pregnancy as a stumbling block, but I looked at my child as a blessing and jumped right over that hurdle. I was determined to continue down the path of success not only for myself but for my child as well. Although things were challenging, I continued to make amazing strides.
What do you count as your biggest failure and what has it taught you?
If I had to count a failure, it would be not using time wisely. I have been under the false impression that I have an unlimited amount of time to fulfill my life's purpose and have often been sidetracked. I now understand how important it is to take advantage of every day and use my time wisely to serve me in a positive way, both personally and professionally. I have learned that failures are opportunities to improve situations.
Who or what inspires you?
The women in my family inspired me to be the woman I am today.
Who were your career mentors, and what role did they play?
Throughout the course my career I have been fortunate to have several great mentors. Their names were Hans Coetzee, Debra Stearn and Latif Erdogan. Hans Coetzee hired and trained me on the quality side of the tire industry. Debra Stearn inspired me and showed me that women could lead in a higher position in the rubber industry. Latif Erdogan believed in me and convinced me that women can have thriving careers in regards to the technological aspects of this industry.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have ever received is that you can truly accomplish anything you put your mind to with hard work and consistency. It's important to set goals whether they be minor or major and work at your own pace. Eventually, you will finish the race. "If at first you do not succeed dust yourself off and try again."—Unknown
If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
If I were a CEO of a company, one of the first things I would do is to implement employee appreciation activities. I believe when you create an atmosphere that your teams value, team members are more willing to take ownership and are more motivated to be part of a company.
What would you tell someone considering a career in the rubber industry?
The rubber industry is full of great opportunities, and you can find where you fit within the industry.
In your opinion, what needs to be done to encourage females to pursue STEM-related careers?
I think more mentee programs, and more insight being provided in the school systems from females who are already apart of STEM-related careers would help encourage more young girls and women to pursue this field.