APMA is Canada’s National Association representing 90% of parts production with over $25 billion in sales and 85,000 skilled people.
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MoldMaking Technology continues to honor and celebrate the women who help make moldmaking such a dynamic industry. This month, our honorees are women who provide expertise on several levels within the moldmaking companies for which they work. They serve in roles that support the backbone of each respective company: marketing, finance, training and administration. Dubbed “support pillars,” these women promote growth, impact the culture, engage industry, develop customers, instill passion and energize the next generation of women in moldmaking.
Each woman was recommended by industry peers when the concept of this special feature was introduced. The hope is that this inaugural female-focused spotlight will entice others to contact us about women worthy of being recognized and enable us to do this again in the future.
We set out to discover how these women got to where they are today, to learn about their biggest contributions to their companies and to the industry, to understand how they see their roles evolving in the future, and to hear what they believe is the key to bringing more women into moldmaking.
Senior Buyer, Crest Mold Technology Inc., Oldcastle, Ontario, Canada
Michelle Cipkar joined her family’s company, Crest Mold Technology Inc. (CMT), full time 13 years ago, right out of high school. “They offered me a position in purchasing, as I had gained some experience in that area while working during summer breaks from high school,” she says. “Where has the time gone?”
Despite her part-time experience, Michelle says it was quite a learning curve getting acclimated to her new, full-time purchasing role. It wasn’t just a matter of learning how to be an effective purchaser, she says. Working in a male-dominated industry presented challenges as well.
“I think it pushed me to learn more about the products I was required to purchase and to really understand their role in the overall process of moldmaking,” she says. “Core pins, electrical components and blocks of steel—let’s be honest, not all that riveting for a woman. The more I knew about what I was buying, the more value I was adding to the company, and the less it mattered if I was a woman.”
An eye-opening experience for Michelle was an open house event hosted by Milacron in which it invited several local businesses to participate in a small-scale trade show at its facility. The experience gave Michelle the chance to see a variety of molding presses running and producing parts, which she says was extremely beneficial, as it allowed her to understand the “complete picture.” “We just make the molds; we don’t have the opportunity to run production,” she says.
As CMT continues to grow and expand, so does Michelle’s role, along with responsibility and accountability. “As a purchaser, my role does not simply revolve around buying items needed by the shop,” she says. “It also requires me to be as diligent as possible with sourcing the best products at fair prices while managing the expectations for delivery by the fast-moving and rigorous production schedule.”
Read more http://www.moldmakingtechnology.com/articles/women-impacting-moldmaking(2)
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