June 24, 2019
On this International Women in Engineering Day, we are celebrating the village of Engineers who help make Sonoco successful. From Production Manager to Quality Analyst, Process Engineer to Chemical Engineer, all experiences and talents are valued, and all engineers are appreciated. We are proud to have a variety of female engineers in different roles throughout our organization, and many of them have paved new paths not only themselves but for others who are just starting their careers.
Sabrina Dixon-Garrett, is a Senior Manager in our Consumer R&D group. After years of professional experience, her advice to women entering the engineering field is all about being your true-self, “Don’t be afraid to bring your unique talents to your profession. Whatever your talent is, whether it’s math or science, problem-solving or getting your hands dirty, all of those qualities are important. Don’t be afraid to bring those and to lean on those. Use them to be successful because it takes a village of engineers with different skillsets for a Company to be successful.”
Joseanny Kristi, a Process Assistant in Manaus, Brazil also believes in the power of being who you are, “Do not let insecurity keep you from following your dream. Like Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’.”
In what is known as primarily a male dominated field, especially as an engineer in manufacturing, having a desire to fill a unique role or participate on projects across functions and divisions can be leveraged into long term success. “My favorite thing about being an engineer is the opportunity to get involved in projects across all areas in the plant. I can work on safety, optimizing machine performance, environmental and quality. Every day is something different and challenging.” says process engineer, Sarah Sassorossi, with the Sonoco Paper Division in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Engineering skillsets are highly valued across the organization, not just for technical roles or those production oriented. Mary Elliston is a former manufacturing leader at Sonoco and Paper Science engineer by trade. Her development in the Paper division as a trainee then supervisor/manager gave her a skillset to be leveraged into a people focused role within HR. “My previous positions allowed me to interact with employees all the time. It was a big part of my job in addition to the technical paper-making side. Those experiences got me passionate about working with people, so I thought, ‘Why not try something in HR’?” Mary’s current position is as an HR Manager for Sonoco’s largest papermill in Hartsville, SC, “I really enjoy it because it gets me closer to working with people, but still supporting manufacturing facilities, so I get my engineering fix!”
Thank you to all of the female engineers who are paving the way for future talent. It’s because of your determination and tenacity that younger generations of female STEM talent will rise. As Simone Lenci, Production Manager in Sorocaba, Brazil tell us “Do what you do best, and shine.”