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The Sound of Automation: Women In Manufacturing

Posted on March 16, 2022 by

Bryan Powrozek

Bryan Powrozek

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This episode is our first crossover podcast featuring Meaghan Ziemba who is the host of her own podcast, Mavens of Manufacturing. Meaghan and Bryan’s discussion highlights the stories of women in manufacturing. They touch on topics ranging from gender gap in the field to tips for companies on how to attract female talent and work within their communities to inspire young women to pursue higher education and careers in STEM fields.

Podcast Transcript:

Announcer: 

Welcome to The Sound of Automation, brought to you by Clayton & McKervey, CPAs for growth-driven businesses. 

Denise Asker, Director of Marketing & Growth: 

Good morning, Bryan. 

Bryan Powrozek, Sr. Manager Industrial Automation: 

Hey, Denise, how are you? 

Denise Asker: 

Good. I’m excited about today’s topic. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yes. I am as well. We’ve got Meaghan Ziemba who is the host of Mavens of Manufacturing podcast, our first crossover podcast. 

Denise Asker: 

Great. Name. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

We’re connecting with some other folks. But, yeah. Meaghan’s focus is trying to highlight the stories of women in manufacturing, and so I thought, especially given this month is Women’s History Month, I thought it would be a good tie in. And really it goes into a larger issue that our clients are struggling with of attracting and retaining good talent, and hopefully underscores the importance of you can’t have a one-size-fits-all strategy to attracting talent because you’ll only get that one type of employee. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

If you want to have a diverse workforce that brings a lot of different experiences and background to the table, you’re going to have to adjust your strategy to try and appeal to what’s important to those different groups. 

Denise Asker: 

Yeah. We take it for granted at our firm being so heavily owned by females and having a lot of women in management. But in manufacturing, I don’t recall the numbers, but I believe that it’s under 10% of women in manufacturing. Is that still true? 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yeah. I don’t know that the exact statistics, but I know it’s low. It’s low compared as you look at demographic population split versus how it is. Yes, it ends up low. And with some of the work I did back when I was in the auto industry with the Society of Automotive Engineers, there is this trend that just women aren’t encouraged as much to go into the STEM fields as men. This was back from 2000s. 

Denise Asker: 

Back in the day. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yeah, early 2000s. But I’m sure there’s still some element of that where the sciences are traditionally looked at as a more male-dominated pursuit. And really, I think from what they taught us in that program was early on, elementary, middle school, girls actually score on par, maybe a little better than boys do. But it’s just the societal things as you go on, and it’s, “Oh, I don’t want to be good at math and science. I want to be good at something else. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

So, you see that shift, and it’s important that we’re trying to encourage as many people as possible to get into these STEM-based fields. So, having an approach to attract more women is just one way that business owners can try and change the tide on those statistics. 

Denise Asker: 

Sure. Now, this is not a new conversation. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

No. 

Denise Asker: 

I feel like this conversation’s been going on most of my career. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yep. 

Denise Asker: 

Meaghan focuses on manufacturing. But in the industrial automation circles, do you see similar demographics? 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Oh, yeah. Yeah. I think if you’re talking manufacturing or automation, it all follows that general engineering trend of in terms of percentages. 

Denise Asker: 

Same trajectory? 

Bryan Powrozek: 

The one thing that might be a little bit different as you compare say more of a manufacturing client to an integrator, the integrators tend to be on more of the engineering end. So, they don’t have the plant floors, where there’s certain jobs that are going to be, I think, more male dominated just on size and strength and things like that. So, I think you might see a little bit higher skew in the integrator side. But, yeah. Still not in line with population. 

Denise Asker: 

Well, I’m looking forward to meeting her and seeing what she has to say. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

All right. 

Denise Asker: 

Thanks for bringing her on. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Thanks, Denise. 

Denise Asker: 

Okay. Bye. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Bye. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Hello and welcome to The Sound of Automation Podcast. I’m Bryan Powrozek, and joining me today is Meaghan Ziemba. She’s the host of the Mavens of Manufacturing. Meaghan, Thanks for coming on today. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. Thanks for having me. How are you? 

Bryan Powrozek: 

I’m doing well. Doing well. Well, first, just in case for some of our listeners who may not have heard of your podcast before, I guess, you want to give me a little bit of the background, why you started it, what your focus of it is? 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. So, it was a pandemic project, concept that I had. I was seeing a lot of conversations happening on LinkedIn, and none of them really were inviting women to the table to have these conversations. I’m a technical writer by trade, and I actually started out my career as a trade publication editor. I knew that there was always a lack of women in this sector, but I knew some really amazing women from my time as a trade publication editor who were doing some really great things within the sector. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

When I saw these conversations on LinkedIn happening over and over again, I was always questioning, “Okay, why are the women that I know who in the sector not having the same conversations with these gentlemen that are doing these podcasts or live video casts?” 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

So, I decided to talk it out with one of my friends and I told them that there’s the skills gap, but there’s also the gender gap. There’s a few stats that I’ve saw. So, Deloitte is the famous one where they report anywhere between 21 and 23%. But then there was a recent one that the Women in Manufacturing organization did, and it was actually up to 33%, so a little bit better. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

But if you look across the disciplines, women only represent around one to two maybe 3% within each discipline. So, it’s really trying to get a variety of women coming into a variety of those disciplines and upping our numbers that way, because we want to try to diversify the sector as well, too, just because you have more innovative thought processes, more, excuse me, I can’t talk this morning, diversified brainstorming and problem solving and all that stuff, which is all good in the end, right? 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yeah. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

So, I noticed the skills and gender gap, and then I also was listening into my daughter’s conversations, because she’s 18. She’s graduating this year. A lot of her friends are going into healthcare or teaching or some sort of physical therapy training. None of them were really discussing opportunities with engineering and manufacturing. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

So, I really wanted to focus on all of those aspects and create a platform for women to come on and brag about some of the cool things that they’re doing and invite them to the table and have a conversation with them so that we can inspire the next generation workforce, specifically younger women and get them excited about some of these newer opportunities that are popping up, especially with all of the automation stuff coming on board, the robotics and industrial internet of things, and have them look into those career pathways instead of some of the more traditional ones for women, and then just recruit them from that direction. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yeah. Yeah. Back when I was in the auto industry, I participated in… Society of Automotive Engineers had a program called A World in Motion, and it was meant to introduce engineering to that second, third, fourth grade group of people. But even within it, there was a little bit of a focus on, “How do we get these girls at that age who are,” I think in some of the studies, I don’t remember all the specifics, but perform better in science and math than some of the boys do. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

But then just as they go through their school and high school, they tend to get discouraged away from the engineering and math or they hear, “Oh, that boys are just better at math and science and some of those things,” so they start getting discouraged away from it. And then as you said, when it comes time to make that college decision, it’s like, “Oh. Well, I’m going to go into one of these more traditional careers or something like that,” when in reality, they’re probably just as good if not better than some of the boys who are going into it. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

I think it’s a matter, too, of a sense of intimidation, because a lot of women that I’ve talked to, when they were going through the courses, they were maybe the only woman in the courses or one of four or three. So, they didn’t really feel like it was a place for them to enter into because they weren’t seeing anyone that looked like them. So, they just stayed away from the opportunity and looked at something else. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

A lot of the women that I’ve talked to in my show, a majority of them have said, “I fell into this completely by accident. This is what I actually went to school for, and then it led me to where I am today within manufacturing.” So, it’s been really interesting to hear a variety of different stories of how women made their way through engineering and manufacturing. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Oh, that’s great. That’s fantastic. And I think it really, to me, when I think about it, it ties back to another major problem that a lot of my clients and people that I talk to in the automation industry, specifically, but I think it’s across the board in any of the engineering and manufacturing disciplines, is there’s the battle for the workforce of the future, trying to attract this smaller and smaller pool of employees. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

And then even within there, if you look at the women who are representative, it’s a smaller percentage of that. So, it really becomes very competitive for business owners to say, “Okay…” 

 

Bryan Powrozek: 

So it really becomes very competitive for business owners to say, “Okay, even if I want to have a DEI initiative within my, within my company, within my organization,” you’re competing for a small portion of a very small talent pool as it is. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

So do you have any advice from the conversations you’ve had with people in this spacer, or with women in this space? Any recommendations for business owners of how they can be more successful in trying to attract more women to their business? 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. So there’s a few things that they can do. Right away when they’re marketing to potential leads, make sure you’re including your women employees if you already have women working for you. Make sure you’re including them in those marketing materials. Make sure you have photos of them on your website as well too, because that’s your first impression, right? With your website. Customers are going to Google questions to the problems that they’re having. And within those Google searches, they might find your website. So you want to make sure that you’re showing anyone that’s working within your company, specifically women. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

You also want to make sure that you’re very transparent on what your wages are when women are applying to your company. With that transparency, women know that you are working to set equal standards for both men and women in terms of pay. So there’s not any discrepancy when you’re hiring a woman versus a man. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

You also want to make sure that if you have women on your team, that you’re including them in the conversation, and you’re having them involved within your community. So a big thing for manufacturers is to open up their doors and have facility tours, so that people from the community can come in and see what you’re making, what services you’re providing. And during those facility tours, you want to make sure that you have someone representing women that work at your company that can have conversations with whoever’s doing the facility tours. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

You also want to try to get them in front of the high schools too within your community. So what events are going on that they can participate in, where students are … Whether it’s career fairs or just presentations, be proactive in making those connections within your community. And if there aren’t any career fairs, maybe approach the schools and say, “Hey, can we bring someone in from our company to talk to your students, to talk about what we’re doing here, in case they have no idea what they want to do as a career choice?” And bring a woman into that. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

You can also talk to them about the business themselves. A good way to help boost confidence amongst your women employees is to teach them about your business. And that includes what your business strategy is, how you’re handling your finances and all that stuff. And just kind of guiding them and mentoring them throughout their journey so that they’re not tempted to leave, because they don’t feel like they’re welcome. In other ways too, if you are connected with any of your technical schools or vo-tech programs, make sure that you are going and specifically talking to the girl students. And asking them questions whether or not they have any hesitations in coming into the field. So just being more proactive, making sure that you’re inviting girls to the conversation. If you think they have an idea, but they’re kind of hesitant to talk about it, just be mindful about that. And then calling them as well too. So just small things like that can really help and make a difference. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yeah. And the majority of the companies that I work with are small to midsize, privately held businesses. And I was speaking with a professor from Purdue University. And his biggest piece of advice for those businesses was, get on campus early and really have impactful interactions with the students. If you have an internship program, make sure they’re not just being brought in to be the person that goes and get coffee, and does all the menial work while the engineers do the rest of the stuff. And I think the same kind of thought process applies here, right? 

Bryan Powrozek: 

And as you said, making sure that you’ve got a good representation of your company out to those recruiting events, and the events on campus, so that as you said, the women who are in the program can see that, “Yes, there’s a path for me here. I can see … ” You used the phrase here, “Someone that looks like me, that’s succeeding and enjoying working at this company. So that makes me see that there’s a potential path for me there as well.” 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. I mean, companies spend a lot of money in investments towards marketing for potential leads. And sometimes the return on those investments isn’t as big as you would hope it to be for the cost that they’re contributing to it. So why not kind of switch your thought process and invest that budget towards recruiting or attracting your community? So in my local area, we have a kids museum. And during Engineering Week and Manufacturing Month, they have events going on. And it brings in all of the manufacturers to that museum. And each manufacturer can come up with an event for little kids to partake in, to show them kind of what STEM is. So just even that early exposure would help as well too. So if that’s something that you’ve never done before as a manufacturer, think about doing it. Because you can really spike a kid’s curiosity on some of the things that you’re doing with just simple things like, I don’t know, making paper airplanes or something like that. That would be really helpful. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yeah. There’s a subscription box that I signed my kids up for that have these little STEM projects they get to work on. And my daughter, it’s fun just seeing her kind of putting this all together and figuring it all out. And like you said, if you’re not exposing your kids to … Either my son or my daughter, right? If they don’t know that’s out there, they’re not necessarily going to think about going down that path. Or especially once you get into school, it’s like, “Oh, the math class is so hard.” I mean, for me, it was always the English class was so hard. And so I steered towards the more STEM subjects. Well, something, I think we’d be a little remiss without touching on a little bit here is just that kind of the impact of the pandemic, and how that may or may not have changed. And really my guess is the answer’s going to be probably just more of what you already talked about. But how do you see what’s happened here in the pandemic impacting the way companies are approaching recruiting more women into their workforce? 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

So it’s funny, because I’m a technical writer. So I don’t necessarily have to be on-site for a lot of things that I do. In terms of CNC machining, and hands-on projects, you can’t necessarily work from home. I think the pandemic opened a lot of eyes in terms of what work could be done remotely, versus what work could not be done remotely. And a lot of women seem hesitant to enter the manufacturing sector based off of work-life balance. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

So if you’re a mom, especially a single mom, it’s going to be hard for you to find a career pathway that’s desirable if it doesn’t allow you that work-life balance. And I can attest to that, because I was a single mom raising my daughter. And then now that I have two toddlers, it’s really beneficial for me to stay home and have my kids around me while I’m working. That’s really helpful. So if I have to take some time to bring them back and forth to daycare, or school, or God forbid an emergency happens, I’m close to home. And I can be able to do that. So I think the pandemic has made manufacturers more aware of that work-life balance, and they understand the importance of it. And some are even taking initiatives to see what they can do to accommodate that work-life balance. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

So a lot of companies who didn’t have paternity leave for fathers, they’re starting to incorporate that in their policies, which is fantastic. They’re starting to extend maternity leave a little bit longer, which is great. I’ve talked to a couple of manufacturers where they’re actually considering bringing on a daycare when they didn’t think about that before, so that parents can bring their kids there. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

They’re also extending their continuous improvement opportunities too. So if an employee wants to add to their education or improve their skillset that they already have, a lot of employers are actually providing tuition costs for their employees, so that they can actually continue to learn and get some more education, or extra certification for whatever processes that they’re doing at the manufacturing facility. Which I think is great. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

But also I think with the whole pandemic, the downside of it is, is that people know that they can do remote work. So you might lose some workers that way too, which will not help with the skills gap. So if people want to work from home and not come into the office, what sort of things can you provide them to sort of entice them to do a higher brand model? And you got to think out of the box and really be created with that as well too. Because there’s a ton of jobs out there that are available right now. So employees have options.  

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Employees have options. And if you aren’t willing to compromise with them and work with them, they’re not necessarily going to stick around and work with you. So there’s a lot to consider with that as well. But yeah, I think if you can start tracking productivity more so than hours, that could be a benefit for you as well, too, because with me, and I’m just speaking for personal experience, because I’m able to work from home, I actually get a lot more done than I do having to drive back and forth to and from work and then getting distracted as much as I love my coworkers and talking to my coworkers, it is a distraction and it does cut into some of that productivity time. So when I’m at home, I actually get more work done versus going into the office. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Well, yeah. And I like kind of what you mentioned early on about bringing in your employees and getting their input on some of these problems. It’s kind of the old adage about, if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem looks like a nail. And so if I’m sitting here trying to solve this problem, I’m going to do the things that I think would make sense, but not necessarily what’s going to make sense for you. And that’s actually something that our firm has done over the last few months here as we’ve been working on our, okay, what does the future of work look like for us? And so it kind of started out at the leadership team level. We had some initial conversations. But then we brought the staff in and had those conversations, because to me as a 40 year old father of two, my idea of work-life balance is completely different then a new college graduate who’s just has different priorities, different things that they want to focus on. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

And so if I’m setting the rules for everybody, it may not be exactly what they want. But to your point of focusing on productivity, and if people are able to get the work done, even, hey, this is what we need to get done this week, and if you get it done in 35 hours, that’s great. 35 hours, we’re good. And then let’s give people the flexibility there. Because I do think one of the challenges beyond, I mean, recruiting new employees is going to be a challenge because of the demographic changes that are going on in the workforce right now, and you’re almost better off putting some of your efforts into retaining the people you have. And so the extended maternity and paternity leaves and things like that, that are going to kind of endear the employee to your company and make them want to stick around, because, hey, you worked with me through this challenge I had in my life, this time where I, gosh, I think back to those first few months of sleepless nights, and late night feedings and all those other things, it’s hard to get through all that. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

And then in the back of your mind, be like, okay, and I got to wake up in three hours, and drive into the office and get this done. So I think that that’s a big positive that’s going to stick with us as we go forward. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. And as a parent, too, with kids, they’re sponges for germs when they’re younger. So when they go to of school and they are around a bunch of other kids, they get sick a lot. They’re not going to be healthy all the time and you have to make those emergency visits to the doctors. And sometimes you have to take work off for extended periods of time. So how can you compromise with employees to find the right balance for that? And even with people that don’t have kids or that significant other or families, one of the companies that I worked for actually was a huge advocate for mental health as well. So providing days for mental health recovery was huge at that company. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

And they didn’t ask any questions. If you just went to your supervisor and said, hey, I’m having a bad day. I’m not feeling as good as I normally would. Can I just take the rest of the day, the day off? They didn’t ask any questions. They allowed you to go home. As long as you got your work done, they were fine with having some days like that for you, which I think is great, especially with the pandemic now, because I think everybody’s just so tired of Zoom calls and virtual meets, it’s been a struggle for a lot of people to be isolated for so long. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Oh yeah. Yeah. No. And I’ve had some conversations with my clients and with peers, and it’s very easy to make that carve out around, just take maternity, paternity leave. Okay, it’s understandable, it’s this box. Well, that’s just a decision that I made, that I made that I want to have a family. And so it’s great that the company is allowing for that, I don’t want say accommodation, but acknowledging that that’s something that I’m trying to deal with and they’re going to support me in it. But then on the flip side, yeah, if it’s someone who’s in their mid-20s who just came out of college, but they’re dealing with a death in the family, or some other issue, just knowing that, hey, our focus here really isn’t to support this one group here that’s going through something, it’s we’re here to support all of our employees and whatever you need is very important. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

So, something interesting to me and I found, and I’m sure you’ve experienced this as well, that while you gain all this flexibility with the remote working and from home and stuff like that, it also becomes very difficult to switch it off, because rather than your office being 15, 30 minutes away by car, it’s literally down the hall and just behind the door. And so it’s easy then to, well, I’m just going to go in and take care of this one email or take care of this one thing. And then next thing you know you’re three hours into a project. What advice do you have for for women coming into, and specifically manufacturing, but I think the lessons will apply across the board, what advice do you have to women coming in to the workforce of how to try and keep focused on that and keep that balance in their life? 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Because in the end, having the ability through different programs in your work to have work, life balance is good, but then there’s also something you proactively need to do to make sure you’re taking advantage of it and that you’re using it and not just getting caught up in the rat race of, oh, I’ve got this other project to do, and now I’ve got another project to do. And so any advice you have there? 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. This is actually something that I personally have struggled with, because I mean, I initially just had my daughter and it was just her and I, and then I met my husband, and we got married and have two toddlers at home who are three and four. So it’s pretty exciting around my house. And I have become the queen of checklists. And I actually do something that I recommend anyone who has a calendar do. We can all get caught up in meetings as well, too. It’s really hard for some of us to say no. And I’m here to encourage you that prioritize your time, prioritize yourself, prioritize your health. And it’s okay to say no. If people don’t understand no, that’s not on you, that’s really on them. But it’s okay to say no. And it’s okay for you to schedule time for yourself and for your family. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

And what I’ve done is during my work week, I actually have time blocks. So if I have a major project, I will schedule time blocks throughout my week to just focus on that project. And then I also have a whiteboard, and I will take the top five priorities that I need for that week, and those will be the five priorities that I have throughout that entire week. And it’s kind of like a con bond board that I have set up. So I use Trello, which is really helpful. I know there’s other tools out there that you can use. But if priorities change, then I have to really be communicative to who I’m working for, because if it’s something that they think is a priority, but it’s not really a priority, you need to get that out of them. So if it’s something that doesn’t necessarily have to be done the next day, when does it have to be done? 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

So just maintaining your calendar, maintaining your top priorities throughout the week, and then keeping track of what your roadblocks are and communicating that with whoever you’re working with. So it’s going to be different for everyone. But the time blocks are a huge life saver for mine, because it gives me an hour or two. Normally I do one to two hours, at most I’ve done three. But it gives me that three hours. And then after that three hours is done, I’ll shut that off. I’ll stretch for 5 or 10 on minutes. I’ll go for a walk. I’ll get some coffee. And just really maintaining that throughout the week has been a lifesaver. On the weekends, I know there’s a lot of people that like working on the weekends. I have made the decision not to do that anymore. I’ve just turned off all of my devices and I spend time with my family on the weekends, because I work Monday through Friday. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

So it’s going to fluctuate depending on who you are and what your work schedule is, but just be mindful and proactive on where you’re spending your time and with who. So if you have a family, you don’t want to miss those moments, especially if you have a new family, because the time goes by super, super fast and you’re going to regret not seeing your kids or spending time with them. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Not seeing your kids or spending time with them, because it’s not going to last forever when they’re small. I know this personally, because my daughter who’s 18 was two yesterday and she’s graduating high school and it’s still freaking me out to this day that she’s graduating. Yeah, just keeping checklists start with the Trello board if you want, they have a free application that you can use and you can keep it on your phone as well and just keeping track of those five priorities throughout your week. Once you get one done, check it off and then add something else new into your list to focus on for the following week. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Yeah. I think those are two really valuable recommendations you had there. The first one about the kind of blocking out and scheduling your week. One thing that’s been interesting to me since we’ve kind of shifted to the more hybrid model is I’m in the office two days a week and so I’m intentionally scheduling, okay, I’m going to leave some open time in case people stop by and have questions or even like you said, when you go in the office, there’s a lot of distractions and you see somebody you haven’t seen for a few months and so you catch up and you talk. It’s good to have that there because you need that camaraderie, but then the other three days of the week that I’m either working from home or at a client site, I know, okay, those are the days I’m getting work done, I’m focused and I’m, I’m taking care of things. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

I’m going to try to ignore those other distractions that pop in and not have my email up and checking it every five minutes. The second thing relates back to being able to say no. Even in what I’ve found, especially in working with some of our younger staff is there’s this, I think this kind of mindset of, if I come and say “Hey, can you get this to me today?” Their thought is “oh, it’s got to be done today.” We try to encourage our staff to say if you can’t, ask the question back “well, I can’t do it today, but can I get it to you next week or when do you need it by?” Oftentimes, I’m coming in because I’ve got my list of things I got to get done and “Hey, is there any way you can work on this for me?” And the initial reaction is to say “yes” from everybody. So I think, you know, to stop and say “no, but can I get it to you in two days or a week?” or something like that. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Oftentimes, the answer’s going to be “yes” because it’s not a priority that has to be done today, it just happened to fall on my list today and I came to talk to you about it. So those are a couple things that I talk to our staff about as well is hey, just to think about this because as we work through this hybrid environment, you are going to have more and more control over what you’re doing on what days and that can be really tough for a first year staff, if this is your first quote unquote real job. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. Especially if you’re going through that onboarding process too because I remember being the newbie and not wanting to let anyone down and not wanting to fail at my job. So if I couldn’t get something done, for whatever reason, I connected that to failing, which was not a great habit to get used to or into. So I really appreciate that you are actually working with your first time employees and getting that message across because I think that’s going to actually lift a huge weight off of their shoulders to have to perform at such a high standard that’s not achievable if you say yes to everything. So I think that’s really great of you as a company to do that for them because not a lot of companies think about that stuff. A lot of new employees who are coming fresh out of college, I feel like they get overwhelmed and overworked and just lose their mind the first year that they have at a new job because they just don’t know how to say “no”. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

We see it. Having been in both the engineering world and the public accounting world, I think it’s a common amongst all of them and probably all other professions, but yeah, you come in and you’ve got this expectation that “okay, I’ve got this first professional job and this is what’s going to be expected of me” in reality, we want you here for the long term. If you burn out in six months and say “yeah, this isn’t for me” that doesn’t do anybody any good. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Right. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Well, Meaghan, this was an awesome conversation. I’m glad you were able to make it today. If anyone wants to check out the Mavens of Manufacturing podcast, where’s best to find it? I’m guessing it’s on all the platforms, but- 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Yeah. So I have a website it’s mavensmanufacturing.com. You can go on there. My homepage is a scheduling link. So if you ever want to set up a chat with me, you can just click on that and schedule some time with me. I’d love to hear your story. I’m also on LinkedIn. I’m huge into connecting with people and having conversations. I’m a nerd for information. So I like learning from different people. So you can actually follow me or connect with me on LinkedIn. I also have all of the podcast channels. So Apple, the Google podcast, I think I’m on audible now too and then I’m also on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Twitch, which is a new one for me, because I didn’t even know that I existed until someone told me “Hey, should check this Twitch channel out.” So if you don’t know what Twitch is, I’m on Twitch. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

It’s worth looking … And I will definitely encourage people to follow Meaghan on LinkedIn. The one thing I like that you do on LinkedIn that I don’t necessarily see a lot of people do is in addition to kind of the professional things you do, you give that little bit of glimpse into your life to show people that “Hey, this isn’t as easy as it may look” right? You’re trying to balance dance recitals and kids events and all this other stuff and still try and get your work done. I feel in a way that’s it’s a good message for people to see because in a way it’s kind of the same syndrome. People have heard about Facebook that Facebook is so intimidating because everyone just sees all the great things that are going on in the family vacations and all this stuff, but it’s really hard to balance the professional and the personal. I think you do a good job at showing that to people. 

Meaghan Ziemba: 

Thank you. Yeah. I try to do that because I’ve had a couple guests who’ve had to cancel last minute and they apologize a thousand times for canceling at the last minute. I was like “I know things happen in life. It’s completely fine. It’s not at the end of the world. I’m hoping Mavens will be around for a really long time. So if you can’t have the conversation now, we can definitely schedule it out weeks later or months later.” I don’t take it personal when someone cancels on me because I know things happen and things come up and I’m just glad people are okay in the long run, in case it’s an emergency. So I’m always looking out for the wellbeing of others. So don’t worry about canceling on me if you need to because it’s really not that big of a deal. 

Bryan Powrozek: 

Excellent. Well Meaghan, thanks again and yeah, I will speak to you soon. 

Announcer: 

Thank you for tuning in. Don’t forget to like us subscribe and share on social to learn more about Clayton and McKervey visit us@claytonmckervey.com. That’s C-L-A-Y-T-O-N-M-C-K-E-R-V-E-Y.com. We thrive on finding the solutions for you. 

 

Bryan Powrozek

Senior Manager

As the leader of the firm's industrial automation group and host of The Sound of Automation podcast, Bryan helps owners free up cash flow and scale their businesses.

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