When I was growing up, I didn’t know what I wanted to do careerwise. My dad worked in manufacturing, and that’s how I started to become curious about the sector, even though I didn’t jump right into the field. I started off as a waitress, and eventually, I moved to another state and started working in insurance claims. When I moved back to my hometown, I took a job at a medical device manufacturing company in inventory control. This job was the beginning of my career in customer service, logistics and materials management. Now, I am very happy to be working with manufacturing companies to help them grow, make improvements, and learn about new technology and opportunities. As a woman, it was interesting jumping into manufacturing 30 years ago because manufacturing and materials management was typically viewed as a man's realm. However, I didn’t let that prevent me from doing what I enjoyed, so I got involved with APICS (now knows as ASCM, the Association for Supply Chain Management) and was fortunate enough to have a mentor who served on the board of directors. After a couple of years and holding different board positions, I became the first woman president of the APICS Buffalo Chapter. I have continued to have a career specializing in materials management across many different industries. As women continue to seek manufacturing careers, I advise getting involved in local organizations and maintaining a positive attitude toward obstacles. Although that statement can apply to everyone, it's crucially important to women to not let any barriers that may come your way affect your work. Learn as much from people as you can, try not to be discouraged by the setbacks and allow yourself to grow every day. Let your success shine.
Paula DeLuca has been a FloridaMakes Business Advisor since 2017 and holds a masters and bachelor’s in business management. Paula also teaches Production Inventory Management as an adjunct professor at South Florida State College (SFSC). You can reach her by emailing email@example.com.#WomeninManufacturing