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Women Excel in Today’s Coatings Industry

Friday, August 5, 2016

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Once considered a male-dominated field, times have certainly changed for the coatings industry.

Over recent decades, female coatings professionals have made inroads into the field and established themselves as talented, knowledgeable, skillful leaders.

But what insights do today’s women in coatings have to offer based on their experience?

Eight women from various sectors of the coatings industry share their wisdom, insights and advice to inspire other women to excel in what has traditionally been a male-dominated workforce.

During the SSPC 2016 Conference, Joyce Wright, a facility owner representative serving on the SSPC Board of Governors, took the time to interview eight women from various sectors of the coatings industry.

Participants included:

  • Erin Vogel, Industrial Coatings R&D Group, Dow Coating Materials;
  • Chrissy Stewart, Senior Chemist, KTA-Tator Inc.;
  • Kristin Leonard, Oil, Gas and Chemical, Bechtel Corporation;
  • Alison Kaelin, CQA, ABKaelin LLC;
  • Laura Blechl, Executive Director of Business, Deco Coatings Inc.;
  • Gail Warner, Retired (formerly of Newport News Shipbuilding);
  • Lydia Frenzel, Executive Director of the SSPC Advisory Council; and
  • Cindy O'Malley, Consulting & Laboratory Services Manager, KTA-Tator Inc.

Wright encouraged each of them, with industry experience ranging from eight to more than 40 years, to share their wisdom, insights and advice to inspire other women to excel in the workforce.

Questions covered issues such as barriers to female leadership, perceived differences between how men and women lead, overcoming gender-related roadblocks, surprising gender-oriented experiences during their careers, and anticipated challenges for the next generations of women in the field.

Watch the video to learn more.

Women in Coatings

Female coatings professionals also benefit from participation in the SSPC Women in Coatings group, which actively works to continue to grow the industry’s culture as one where gender is no longer seen as a limiting factor.

Women in Coatings was established in 2010 to provide an inclusive network, promote equal opportunities for genders, and effect a cultural change that supports leadership and recognizes contributions that benefit the coatings industry.

The above video grew out of the Women in Coatings group sessions held at SSPC 2016.

During the conference, Women in Coatings gathered industry professionals to strategize on ways to capitalize on the momentum of the cultural shift that has occurred in the industry.

Within the meetings, more than two dozen attendees of both genders heard and shared practical advice with one another. Select participants contributed to the interview video.

For more information on what is planned for Women in Coatings track at SSPC 2017, stay tuned to


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Business matters; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; Networking; North America; Program/Project Management; SSPC; SSPC 2016

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