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Women Working In A Male-Dominated Position vBy Brandi Bue Women working in a typically male-dominated position is becoming more and more of a norm, but there are still leaps to be made. Catalyst studies show that in IT positions, women only make up 23%. Here at Her Voice, we want to tell the stories of women who work locally in jobs that are stereotypically male dominated roles. Three women from three different manufacturers in town responded to our survey to tell a little more about their jobs, Pam Erickson from TruXedo, Inc., Jodi List from Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. and Cary Stainbrook from Manitou America. Pam Erickson has worked for 11 years as the Manager of Information Technology at TruXedo, Inc. She started working with databases in college in the USD’s Art Department. She obtained her business degree from University of South Dakota and started working in management shortly after college. She became the database administrator at Shur-Co and from there transitioned from Shur-Co after the TruXedo Truck accessory division was sold to Truck Hero. Pam oversees all IT and all business systems of IT at TruXedo which include software, databases, security, data process flows, electronic data interchanges, enterprise resource and material planning software. She also assists with projects, writes reports, and manages the IT budget and hardware and software purchases. Pam stays on top of technical changes in her field by attending conferences that relate directly to their software and reads articles and blogs. Pam doesn’t feel that she has been discouraged or faced any issues with being a female working in her field. “I understand business, manufacturing, and accounting processes and have been working in IT for a long time. Understanding these processes and how our IT software works allows me to provide input into process improvement projects and ensures that our company’s business runs smoothly from an IT perspective.” She works with several female managers within the company and their sister companies and corporate office. “They have always been encouraging and helpful, and provide great resources.” Pam loves her job and the opportunities it brings. “I really like to stay behind the scenes and make small changes that can make big impacts on our employees’ jobs and efficiencies.” Pam also loves the challenges her job brings and how it allows her to do different things every day. “I always feel that if you stand back and listen, you give yourself an opportunity to ask questions and learn new things.” Jodi List is the Information Systems Manager for Kolberg-Pioneer, Inc. and has been working in this position for 30 years. Jodi became interested in the IT field because she has always loved math and she thought the IT area would be a great opportunity. She began part-time at KPI in the Inventory Control department while she attended college at the University of South Dakota. Once she graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree, she was hired full-time as the Assistant Data Processing Manager and from there was promoted when the Manager found a new position. Jodi works in a department of three, where they are responsible for the network/phone system/ and the ERP and barcoding systems. They write reports an applications and follow through with paperwork for SOX testing and auditing. They answer user questions. “There is never a dull moment!” During all this, Jodi stays on top of technical changes by speaking to others in the IT area and asking questions. “Reviewing new software and brainstorming and more efficient procedures.” Jodi feels that “every day there is a new opportunity to improve something.” Cary Stainbrook is the Junior Systems Administrator for Manitou America, a position she has had since July 2017. Cary first became interested in the IT field at Southeast Technical Institute. She earned a degree in business but based on her interest in computer sciences, she took additional classes regarding computer support. Prior to working at Manitou America, she was transitioned into various technology support roles which helped build her love for IT work. Currently, Cary is the sole IT person stationed in Yankton. There is a big team in West Bend, WI they utilize for external support. Day-to-day, however, Cary assists users who are experiencing problems with hardware, software, networking and other computer-related technologies. Cary is also responsible for installing, configuring, and managing PC hardware and software upgrades. “I work on a wide array of equipment that can include anything from computer printers to lasers.” Manitou America has great opportunities for Cary to continue learning and growing. She performs personal research and heavily utilizes internet search engines to benchmark what the rest of the industry may have experienced and what solutions worked for them. “I am proud to work with an amazingly strong team at Manitou. To find a company that gives you this much opportunity to grow is a true rarity.” Jodi and Pam both have words of wisdom for young girls looking to move into a field that is typically a male dominated field. Pam said, “Always ask questions. There are always people willing to share their knowledge, so take it all in and don’t be worried if you don’t know something.” And Jodi said, “Always give it your best shot and never give up. Listen closely and think things through completely. Having an open mind is beneficial.” n ? check out... hervoiceonline.com HERVOICEvMAY/JUNE 2019v21

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