Leadership Archives - Hope Global

Women in Manufacturing on the Rise

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Women in manufacturing isn’t a new trend. Since World War II’s Rosie the Riveter, the figure most recognized as representing the women who worked in factories during World War II, women have worked in the manufacturing industry. While their roles are on the rise, women still make up only 29% of the manufacturing industry population, but over half of the total United States labor force.

For over a decade, the U.S. has encouraged engaging women and other minorities in the STEM fields. As manufacturing continues to follow a highly technological path, manufacturers/industry leaders are recognizing this valuable source of talent. And women are interested! Women in Manufacturing conducted a survey of over 800 women in the manufacturing sector regarding their perceptions of the industry as a viable career choice. The survey found almost 74% believe the sector offers multiple career paths for women; approximately 50% felt the sector is a leading industry for job growth, and 64% stated they would recommend a career in manufacturing to younger women. By now most people have heard of the skills gap the manufacturing industry is facing. According to Craig Giffi, Deloitte LLP vice chairman, “the cumulative manufacturing skills gap – or the positions that likely won’t be filled due to a lack of skilled workers – will grow to two million between 2015 and 2025.”

Manufacturers may find a solution to and fill the gap by encouraging, recruiting, and retaining women into manufacturing. Quality Magazine recently suggested there are several ways to ensure the trend of women in manufacturing continues to increase. They encourage manufacturers to recruit, retain, and support women in the industry by   “increasing the visibility of women leaders and mentoring the next generation of women in the industry.” FABTECH also offers strategies manufacturers can employ to build this future talent pipeline. For example:

  • Encourage female engineers to mentor or share career experiences with students to build interest in the manufacturing sector
  • Offer mentor-style opportunities that pair women with strong manufacturing experience with newcomers

Not only can encouraging women to pursue manufacturing roles increase production, their presence builds a diverse environment that has beneficial impacts on a business’ bottom line. Women in manufacturing can add innovation, creativity, and a varied perspective. But that’s not all. Harvard Business Review contributor Amanda Weinstein, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the College of Business Administration within the University of Akron, reviewed Census data on female labor participation from 1980 to 2010 across 250 different cities in the U.S. Her research indicates that for every 10% increase in the number of women working in manufacturing, overall economic impact increases by at least 5%.

According to Deloitte, gender diversity in a manufacturing environment offers “an improved ability to innovate, higher return on equity, and increased profitability.” This is supported by the Manufacturing Institute that notes “diverse companies outcompete those that lack diversity. Further, a study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group  that analyzed 1,700 different companies across eight countries that varied in industry and size, found “companies that have more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation.”

How can your manufacturing business encourage and engage more women? Contact Polaris MEP for ways we can help you strategize the best pathway for you.

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Leslie Taito CEO of Hope Global - Women in Manufacturing

Hope Global names Taito CEO, De Santiago President

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CUMBERLAND – Leslie Taito has been named CEO of Hope Global, succeeding Cheryl Merchant, who was recently named President of the Taco Family of Companies, North America, Hope Global confirmed Friday, December 7, 2018.

Taito previously served as chief of staff and senior vice president of corporate operations of Hope Global. Prior to working with the company, Taito served as the director of regulatory reform at the R.I. Office of Management and Budget and before that, as CEO of Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Services Inc. Taito told PBN Friday that the company was well led by Merchant over her 19 years at the helm and that she saw the business going in the right direction. Taito expects to continue that growth direction and further the long-standing legacy of the company, she said. Taito also noted that Taco was very fortunate to have Merchant and that she sees good things for the two Rhode Island manufacturers going forward.

Marcelino De Santiago will take over as President of Hope Global – while maintaining his current role as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to working with Hope Global, De Santiago served as vice president and global operations director of Rogers Corp.

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Providence Business Women - Hope Global

Our own Leslie Taito is honored at this year’s PBN Business Women Awards

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We’re excited that Leslie Taito, Hope Global’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Operations, has been honored with the Technical Services – Industry Leader award for 2016. The Providence Business News Business Women Awards recognizes our region’s most successful leaders and business owners, and this year the program will be combined with PBN’s Women’s Leadership Summit, making the event a momentous day for women in business.
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Providence Business News - Hope Global

Why Mentoring Matters – Providence Business News

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It was during a leadership-training program at General Motors that Cheryl Merchant says she found her calling as a leader and mentor. She joined Hope Global’s predecessor in 1999 and has fostered a spirit centered on teamwork that has helped the company triple annual revenue. She was recognized earlier this year as the 2015 outstanding mentor among businesswomen by Providence Business News.

Posted: Saturday, December 5, 2015 12:05 am
Throughout my career I have always known the importance of mentorship. I had an amazing mentor early on that pushed me, challenged me and advised me on everything from how to dress to how to tackle complex problems. I can’t think of a day that has gone by where I have not used a lesson or drawn upon that wisdom imparted upon me. My mentor was and is such an influence upon my career. I still talk to him weekly, as I now call him a friend.

Screen-Shot-2015-12-07-at-8.35.30-AM-200x300Mentorship is not just about sharing all the happy endings where everything worked out and you ended up winning one. It really is about sharing lessons learned. Mentorship is about taking your life experiences and breaking it down, the mistakes, the hard knocks, the “one you wish you could do over” and giving insight into what you learned and what you would have done differently. It really is about being vulnerable and open to examining the moments where we didn’t shine. It is in those moments where growth happens.

Beyond the professionals at Hope, I am currently mentoring three young professionals. We meet regularly and discuss issues, life’s questions, things that are important and how to make decisions. There is a truly remarkable thing that happens when you mentor. You will get as much back, if not more, than you give. At least, I do!

 – Cheryl Mechant, CEO Hope Global 

Supply Chain Logistics Leader of the Year - Hope Global's Mark Bates

Mark Bates awarded Supply Chain Logistics Leader of the Year.

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Mark Bates, is the Vice President of Supply Chain at Hope Global and an active member of APICS. He has over 12 years of experience in supply management, procurement, and business experience, involving both domestic and international activities. He has extensive experience in consulting, and training in supply management, procurement, reengineering the supply management process, the management of procurement function, sourcing of materials and services, reducing total cost of ownership, and negotiation of complex contracts.

One of Mark’s amazing strengths is his ability to value every single member of the team. He realizes the way people are wired and that some of the employees are more technical, some were more salesy, and some were more administrative. He makes sure that the employees are shifted according to their strengths. As a young supply chain professional I have been working under Mark for almost 9 months and we have accomplished many amazing things. But for me personally, having the opportunity to work for Mark is the one experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

He leads by example, accepts responsibility, is a fun person with a “can do” attitude and I enjoy working for him plus he likes to walk the walk and talk the talk. His door is open for employees to share their ideas on new approaches for resolving issues and tackling problems. No matter how well he’s doing, he doesn’t become complacent. He keeps up with the changes in the profession and industry. “Learning never ends” is one of his mottos and he supports training and pursuing professional certifications for his employees, he encouraged me to join APICS and get certified in CPIM and now TS training. Furthermore he likes promoting the spirit of learning from each other at work for a more productive team.

The best thing about him is that he takes the time to coach and provide guidance. “Lunch and Learn” is a simple but very effective way to start an informal mentoring program. He makes a point to identify and enhance his employees’ strengths and direct them to challenging projects while providing them with resources that will allow them to shine and get noticed. Moreover he is compassionate and use humor to put worries into perspective.

Strategic alignment is one element which he emphasizes on and is always evaluating the supply chains processes and the effectiveness relative to the industry. He has a propensity of creating and simplifying methodologies, and other highly structured best practices to create custom supply chain strategy recommendations.

He always says to me that growth requires a reassessment of the supply chain’s ability to meet ongoing and future business requirements hence we tend to focus on revising approaches involving supply chain cost models, and detailed process maps which in turn lead to a comprehensive opportunity map and create a competitive advantage.

But the best part about him is that he takes everyone’s insights and participation to develop a truly effective solution. Furthermore he focuses just as strongly on developing great relationships and trusting partnerships with our clients. Working for him has taught me how to think outside the box and capture maximum value but at the same time to trust, respect and enjoy what you do.