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Working to Be in Step, Yet Outstanding

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

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The male-dominated coatings industry can be a tough place for women to blend in, especially when you're trying to also make yourself stand out.

Lana Ponsonby and Alison Kaelin, who each have decades of experience in the industry, have learned a thing or two about making an impact in the coatings industry, and they recently sat down with PaintSquare News to divulge some of their tips for success. 

"We have to set the quality of the job high, and our own personal ethics have to be high, because it will trip you up every time. If you try to portray yourself as something you're not, it's very easily seen," Ponsonby says.

Lana Ponsonby and Alison Kaelin sit down with PaintSquare News to talk about what it takes to make it as a woman in the male-dominated coatings world.

Ponsonby and Kaelin were the recipients of SSPC's inaugural 2014 Women in Coatings Impact Award, presented in February at SSPC 2014.

'Distinguish Yourself'

Ponsonby, of Newport News Shipbuilding, teaches surface preparation and coatings application courses at a shipyard.

Kaelin, owner of A.B. Kaelin LLC, has industry experience in a variety of roles, including regulator, environmental health and safety specialist, coatings inspector, and quality assurance auditor.

"The first thing that you have to do is prove that you can do what your male counterpart can do—especially if you are in a physical profession. The second thing you have to do is distinguish yourself from what your male counterpart can do and be able to express what you bring to the job as a woman and as an individual," Kaelin says.

Kaelin and Ponsonby discuss

  • Elements and behaviors that help women succeed in coatings;
  • Tips to inspire women to advance in their careers; and
  • Strategies for women to create a positive impact on the culture of the coatings industry.

Watch the video to learn more about what it takes to make it in the coatings industry (and about why Ponsonby didn't quit on her very first day!)


Tagged categories: AB Kaelin LLC; Awards and honors; Industry Newsmakers; PaintSquare; Personnel; SSPC 2014; Video

Comment from Warren Brand, (4/1/2014, 8:20 AM)

Congratulations! As a father of three daughters, it's always encouraging to read such things.

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