women engineers

Advice from and for Women in Packaging Engineering

On a day like Women’s Equality Day, revisiting the gender imbalance in STEM career fields takes the spotlight here at Adept Packaging. Despite the movement to get more females involved in these important fields, there is still a tremendous gender gap. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, women represent fewer than 14% of the labor force for the architecture and engineering field. As a company built on the expertise and experience of engineers, Adept Packaging’s leadership team is comprised of 60% women, but that number drops to 35% when we look at the company as a whole. We’d love to close the gender gap further and fill some of our open positions with talented women entering the packaging engineering field. To support this action, we thought it might be beneficial for women considering this elite career to hear from our successful female engineers on what kind of advice they would offer to other women joining the packaging engineering field.  

Amy Schupbach- Packaging Engineer II

Ladies, if you have recently completed a degree in Packaging Engineering, you must always remember that YOU ARE AMAZING!  In a quick search on Google I was able to find several websites that listed Engineering as the most difficult college degree to obtain.
When you enter the workforce for your first Packaging Engineering job you need to keep in mind that you chose a very unique field when you decided to become a Packaging Engineer. Many of your colleagues might not have any idea about some of the basic Packaging Engineering concepts that you understand. Use every opportunity that you can to your advantage and teach those colleagues some of the things that you know about Packaging. The more that you share your unique expertise, opinions, and knowledge, the quicker those associates will see you as their “go-to” person for anything packaging related. Head out there and earn the respect that you deserve. Don’t be afraid to be bold!

Nicole Fick- Packaging Engineer II

There’s nothing wrong with being a boss. Own your opinions and leverage your knowledge to help drive positive change. Always fight for what you believe in and never let your past define you. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve if you’re willing to set goals and not only accept but enact change.

Jessica Southerland- Senior Manager, Packaging Development

Never let the engineering environment intimidate you. You provide insight and knowledge needed to make an impact on the future of packaging.  

Cindy Diamse- Director of Food, Beverage and CPG

Get your feet wet in everything.  In the packaging world, there are so many areas that you will be exposed to and may eventually want to focus on as you grow your career.  As part of your responsibilities, you may be asked to participate in design sessions, manage a line trial at a plant, create packaging specifications, research sustainable packaging, develop internal processes…and the list goes on!  Whether exciting or tedious, make sure you appreciate every experience, as it will only give you more data points in shaping the career you desire.  Also, don’t forget to build relationships along the way; some of them will last your career lifetime.

Jan Gates- Vice President Client Solutions

“Be patient” but remember the saying from Laurel Thatcher Ulrich: “Well behaved women seldom make history.”

Isabel Valero Iglesias- Program Manager

As a woman engineer, I would advise that you follow your instincts, study what you like and be aware of your unique capabilities.  Every single person has their own path an there is no way that you compare with others. Engineering is not only a technical career, is about strategic thinking, optimal solutions, innovation and having a holistic view of a problem, paired with tons of common sense and passion. Be unique!

If you’re just getting into engineering, or it’s something you haven’t made your mind up about yet, we’ve got some resources that might be able to help. Check out our resource library to see some of the kinds of projects our packaging engineers tackle. If you’re interested in learning in real-time, consider attending our monthly Learning Shares where a subject matter expert teaches the audience about a hot topic in the packaging world.

The packaging engineering field is lead by intelligent, driven, ambitious professionals that influence major brand packaging with their creativity and expertise. At Adept Packaging, we couldn’t be more thankful for the brilliant women who consistently raise the bar and lead our team to excellence.

If our award-winning culture seems like something you’d like to be a part of, check out our open positions.