“I love seeing the most basic to the highest tech processes, from beginning to end. It really is an art as well as a skill and it never ceases to amaze me how our company or companies I know solve problems around the world.”
This powerhouse team of #NewRosies hails from GE Appliances. Collectively they boast over 100 years of manufacturing experience! As trailblazing females in manufacturing, these women are sure to inspire future generations of women.
What attracted you to a career in manufacturing?
Cheryl Thesier | Both of my parents were fixer-upper types; one with nuts and bolts and one with a needle and thread. My father was a carpenter and built two houses. My mom loved the finishing touches like lots of colorful paint. We joke that she would have painted us if we had stood still. They would create things out of items they already had. I think growing up and seeing their projects evolve helped me develop an appreciation of manufacturing.
What has made you a successful leader in manufacturing?
Cheryl Farr | I was fortunate to have great mentors. These mentors loved manufacturing and were willing to share that passion — the stories, the struggles, and the love. They were great motivators, listeners and advisors.
What stereotypes about manufacturing, or women in manufacturing, have you come across?
Cheryl Farr | According to Maida Gillespie’s character in the movie, A League of Their Own, “Careers and higher education are leading to the masculinization of women …” Well that is so far from the truth. Women make great leaders in manufacturing. We view and handle things differently than our male counterparts, and that is ok. The key is to find the voice that fits your personality.
What else can we do as an industry to drive more women into manufacturing?
Pamela Baltzell | It’s so important to drive more women into manufacturing. Let’s face it; women and men think differently. This diversity of thought helps build a better business. Driving more women into manufacturing needs to start in elementary and middle school. As women in manufacturing, we need to speak at career fairs, volunteer to be coaches … be visible role models.
What would the REAL Rosie say about women in manufacturing today?
Penny Stump | Everything is better with a woman’s touch! We’re not going back so let’s push forward for more women in manufacturing!
What advice would you give women, or anyone interested in entering this industry?
Terry Dunn | Talk to females that have worked in a manufacturing environment. Ask for a plant tour. Be open and honest. Ask questions!
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Cheryl is the quality subsystem leader for GE Appliances dishwasher assembly. She’s worked at GE Appliances for 12 years and worked for GE’s Aviation division before switching to Appliances. Cheryl has held various quality and materials roles along with parts fulfillment and international service publications experience.
Cheryl Farr graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, and earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix’s School of Business. She worked for Arkema as process engineer, maintenance and engineer manager, purchasing manager and operations manager. Following an 18-year career at Arkema, Momentive Chemicals hired Cheryl as an environmental manager. In January 2012, Cheryl joined GE Appliances as an Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) Leader. In July 2015, she was promoted to second shift operations leader for refrigeration.
Pamela is the process control leader for GE Appliances’ Bottom Freezer Refrigeration plant in Louisville, Ky. Pamela has worked for GE Appliances for 30 years in a variety of roles including technical support engineer, CIM systems engineer, Black Belt, manufacturing digitization leader, Lean leader, Master Black Belt, concessions leader, and quality operations leader. Pamela received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer and electrical engineering from Purdue University and a master’s degree in engineering management from the University of Louisville.
Penny has worked at GE Appliances for 24 years. She is currently an area business leader for final assembly at Appliance Park’s refrigeration manufacturing building.
Terry has 25 years of experience in manufacturing. For 12 years prior to joining GE Appliances, she worked at a facility that made parts for GE. She has been with GE Appliances for 10 years and is currently a business team leader.