What’s it like to be a women in industry? You’re about to find out.
We talk to Sudbury, Ontario Branch Manager, Adriana Martin about being a woman in the securing, rigging & lifting industry, her advice for young women hoping to work in an industrial environment and her tips to lead a team that works hard, and plays hard together.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What’s your educational and professional background like?
Interestingly enough, I went to five years of concurrent university to become a schoolteacher. I taught as a supply (substitute) teacher for a couple of years – I taught grades 3 through 10 before I decided to seek something outside my industry, and ended up in government at the Ministry of Government Services. After that, I worked at a crane service company for five years – I worked with parts and was Head Planner there, where I scheduled the technician’s work.
5 years later, I was offered a job at Hercules SLR as a CSR and – took it, quite clearly! After my second child was born, I was offered the Branch Manager position when I came back from maternity leave. I stepped into a brand-new role when I returned, and everyone from the branch here in Sudbury, to the executive team at our Head Office has been extremely supportive and helpful with the transition.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What excited you about working at Hercules SLR?
I enjoyed my previous role as a Planner, and excelled in management. As a CSR at the time, I had my own role as Inside Salesperson, which excited me since I knew sales was my strength – I could perform to the best of my ability, and there was room to grow with the company.
I was especially excited to get service flowing in Sudbury, because it was a huge opportunity but weren’t focused on it. Then, Sudbury had two service technicians but they didn’t have a full-time service department. Within months we had five service technicians, and were completing service calls daily.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What useful advice to lead a team do you have?
Transparency is the key to bring everything together. As a leader, I’ve found it important share important details with others, and my team appreciates being in-the-know. When the team’s on the same page, it’s easier for everyone to know what their expectations are.
Sometimes, transparency can be uncomfortable but I value leading by example, with trust & integrity. I think having clear goals, and being open about the plan needed to achieve them helps our branch work seamlessly.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: How has mentorship has played a role in your career at Hercules SLR?
Like I mentioned, I received so much support from the executive team when I stepped into the management role. In Sudbury, Kelly inspired me as a working mom who is tremendously good at her job. She was a huge support and made me realize, “If she can do it, I can do it!”
That’s another thing that’s inspiring about work at Hercules SLR – there’s women in power here and it’s very motivating. I see successful examples of women with families at Hercules SLR, like Lisa Barkhouse, a manager who has overcame challenges and showed tremendous growth the entire time, or Ina, our Supply Chain Manager. I try to look for success, and emulate it.
In a way, I find mentors everywhere at Hercules SLR. I don’t know every single answer, but I know who to ask to figure it out. Our individual experiences both strengthen us as a team, and help us move forward as a company.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What’s something you’re most proud to have accomplished during your career at Hercules SLR?
I’m most proud to have my hard-work recognized, and gain the Branch Manager positon after two years.
I’ve had experiences where you work hard, and you are good at your job, yet this is not when someone will pull you aside and tell you how great your work is – typically, you’re pulled aside when things are going poorly! It feels good to have my work acknowledged at Hercules SLR.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: Where have you traveled during your time at Hercules SLR, and where would you like to go?
So far, I’ve been to Hercules SLR’s head office in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and I’d love to go back! Even though it was cold (laughs), I’d love to see more of the city and explore more as a tourist.
In the future I’d love to visit our other Ontario branches, in Sarnia, Hamilton and Brampton – especially because we work so closely already.
Each branch in Ontario focuses on a different aspect of the rigging industry. In Sudbury, most of our business centres on crane and equipment servicing. Specifically, we repair cranes and crane equipment, conduct inspections, help manage equipment with CertTracker, our management tool that lets clients easily sort assets and provide equipment for cranes and other hoisting equipment.
Service is Sudbury’s strength, and each branch masters something different which helps us grow and support each other. We work as a team here – it’s not branch against branch, it’s Team Ontario.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: What do you enjoy most about the securing, rigging & lifting industry?
Honestly, overcoming challenges as a woman in this industry. Sometimes men don’t take me seriously or realize I’m well-informed. We have three women in our Sudbury branch alone! Changing this mindset is something I enjoy.
For example, sometimes I’ll answer our phone and the person will ask to speak with the ‘person in charge’, not knowing it’s me! I’m always able to answer their questions and concerns, and am able to prove to them that women in industry are able to run the show. Even though it can be frustrating, it’s hugely rewarding.
WOMEN IN INDUSTRY, Adriana Martin: Finally, what career advice do you have for young women in industry working in an industrial environment, or the trades?
It might sound like a cliché, but never give up and always do your best. You don’t always know the answer, but you can always find it.
Don’t let people’s negative words get to you. There can be discouraging talk from outside sources, and if you take it seriously, can be demotivating. Stay positive, focus and push forward and you’ll reach your goals. When confronted with negative words, remind yourself that it’s their problem, not yours.