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Embracing Our Value in Reliability

Charli's Blog
WIRAM event

Embracing Our Value in Reliability

This week I attended the WIRAM dinner during the Reliability Conference in Vegas.  I was excited and humbled to be asked to talk to such an amazing group of reliability professionals.  Because I don’t know many women that work in Reliability, I struggled to know what to talk about.  I chose to talk about Connecting and Empowering Women in Industry.  After some research and thoughtfulness, I decided to look at what it means to be a woman in industry.

I have always been hesitant to join any “women only” groups… because I work in a male-dominated industry and honestly I felt I would be categorized as a “feminist” or a “man-hater”…which couldn’t be future than the truth.  90% of the time, I would rather talk to the man sitting at the table. I have struggled to find women that understand what drives me and how they could mentor me…. as a “woman in industry”.  Until now. I see the world as everyone has a gift and that we should use our God-given talents to help improve lives and processes.  This group fits me. It’s not about excluding men, it’s about creating an environment where women come together so we can learn from other leading ladies and learn from our gender how to improve.

The truth of the matter is we are Women. We do have different characteristics, interests, and talents. We bring something unique to the table, and we need to understand what exactly that means so we can improve our confidence and success in our careers!

I took a good hard look at what women do. These are my observations:

We Take Care of Things. We are the ones who Execute. When you have an idea/task/question, who is it that you actually go to? It’s the lady in your life! Yes, men can take care of things too, but it is in our DNA to be the caregivers. So I have to say “we” “Take Care” “better”. Sorry guys… you know it’s true.

We Encourage Each Other. This is by far a Woman’s trait. I have found many times that men do not encourage each other and the opposite is true – they are constantly keeping score, challenging, and in a lot of cases just plain mean to each other.  I see this is the responsibility of women to be the “encourager”, both at home and work for the men in our lives.  If not, no one will do it and then everyone feels defeated and under-appreciated. I have seen this in “personal” life but didn’t realized how important this is to acknowledge in business until after listening to a Q&A session on the WIRAM introduction video. There weren’t any questions. There were only comments of encouragement and praise. This rarely happens publicly with regular webinars I have attended.

We see the WHOLE picture. Women’s brains actually process information differently than men.  While men are able to compartmentalize and focus on the task at hand, women see a more holistic approach.  We can see how a decision or discussion can affect different personalities and departments.  I have found that some of the best leaders can be too focused on the specific task that they come off as rude and uncaring  (to the MEN and WOMEN) just because they aren’t thinking about how it will affect others. This doesn’t create the loyalty and commitment a leader needs from their team.  Having a woman on the team can help identify these connections or disconnections.  For this reason, women are essential when creating a change in company culture.

I am so proud to be part of a team helping women understand their value.   I look forward to the next time we get together to build the voice in industry – the voice that says we are more than “Just a Girl”. We are WOMEN in RELIABILITY and ASSET MANAGEMENT. We can create change and improvements!

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