Women in Plastics Common Interest Group

Women in Plastics is committed to supporting women through mentoring, education and personal and professional development to attract, retain and advance women within the plastics industry. Women in Plastics is open to members, plastics industry professionals and students who are interested in supporting our objectives.

The group will focus on the distinct needs of Women in Plastics:

  • Promote leadership and education focused on women in the plastics industry
  • Provide resources needed for successful career advancement
  • Encourage work/life balance
  • Give back to the community through various philanthropic endeavors


Join the Women in Plastics LinkedIn group to participate in the conversation.


 

Events

Women in Plastics hosts various educational offerings including in-person sessions at the IAPD Annual Convention, e-training webinars and regional events. See below for upcoming and recent Women in Plastics hosted events.


Regional Events

 

September 2017: Women in Plastics Educational Workshop - Lehigh University

Join Women in Plastics for a morning of learning and connecting on Friday, September 15, 2017 at Lehigh University in Bethlahem, PA, USA.

This half-day educational workshop will feature:

  1. Three speakers
  2. Interactive networking activities
  3. Lively group discussion
  4. An opportunity to meet industry peers and build business relationships
  5. Networking breakfast and lunch
  6. A tour of Lehigh Univerity's polymer science lab

This educational offering is intended to help foster facilitated networking and the chance to connect with attendees on a deeper level.

Women and men are welcome to attend.

Click here for more information and registration


April 2017: Women in Plastics Educational Workshop - UMass Lowell

Join Women in Plastics for a morning of learning and connecting on Friday, April 21 at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

This half-day educational workshop will feature:

  1. Two speakers
  2. A tour of UMass Lowell’s Plastics Engineering labs
  3. Interactive networking activities
  4. Lively group discussion
  5. An opportunity to meet industry peers and build business relationships
  6. Networking breakfast and lunch
  7. A copy of keynote speaker Alyssa Dver’s bestselling book Kickass Confidence

This educational offering is intended to help foster facilitated networking and the chance to connect with attendees on a deeper level.

Women and men are welcome to attend.

Click here for more information and registration


February 2017: Women in Plastics Educational Workshop - Tampa 

Join Women in Plastics for a morning of learning and connecting on Friday, February 10 in Tampa, FL, USA.

As an IAPD member, plastics professional or local student, you are invited to attend this valuable event to learn about three important topics that will help you grow professionally and personally: 

  1. Presentation from bestselling author and acclaimed women's leadership speaker Fawn Germer
  2. The value of networking
  3. Recruitment and retention in today's manufacturing world

This educational offering is intended to help foster facilitated networking and the chance to connect with attendees on a deeper level.

Women and men are welcome to attend.

Click here for event photos.

July 2016: Women in Plastics Educational Workshop

IAPD members and plastics professionals met for a half-day educational workshop that included presentations from two speakers that covered the following topics:
  1. Identify actions that may be holding them back without them knowing
  2. Identify alternative actions they can take to accelerate their position
  3. Share with a peer or coach their action plan and next steps
  4. Identify how their actions impact their path and decide whether they want to succeed "because of" or "in spite of"

The presentation included an exercise that allowed participants to assess the degree to which their professional networks aligned with their career goals. Participants also learned nine rules to help identify obstacles holding them back and steps to take to move forward in their careers.

Click here for event photos.



March 2016: Women in Plastics Educational Workshop

IAPD members, plastics professionals and students
 met for a half-day educational workshop that included presentations from two speakers that covered the following topics:
  1. The importance of having and serving as a mentor
  2. The value of networking
  3. Career challenges and opportunities for women in plastics

Following the presentations, the speakers held a panel discussion with attendees. Interactive activities and icebreakers helped attendees connect on a deeper level and fostered facilitated networking among the group.​

Click here for event photos.

 

November 2015: Women in Plastics Networking Event

IAPD members, plastics professionals and students enjoyed a special Women in Plastics networking event located the in the heart of historic Philadelphia, PA.

This event included a tour of the National Liberty Museum, a cocktail reception and a presentation from IAPD member Dr. Keith Hechtel, DBA, about the career challenges and opportunities for women in the performance plastics industry.

Click here for event photos.


April 2015: Relay for Life

Women in Plastics held its first regional event on Saturday, April 25, 2015: The Relay for Life Event supporting the American Cancer Society at Lafayette College in Easton, PA, USA. They raised more than US$5,500 for the event and earned the top spot for fundraising teams. Team Captain Christina Edwards was the top individual fundraiser and Karen DeBard, CPMR, was second.

The team comprised of Christina Edwards (Team Captain - Laird Plastics), Joan Kraczynski (Laird Plastics), Kim Reddick, CPMR (Martino Marketing Group), Monica Esposito (Martino Marketing Group) and Karen DeBard, CPMR (Martino Marketing Group). The team also received some local participation from family and friends. They thank all of their supporters for helping make this event such a success!

Click here for event photos.


IAPD Convention Educational Sessions
October 2016: What is Mentoring All About?

Presented by Valerie Faust

Many individuals and organizations have made a fatal flaw in the development of their mentoring programs: over complicating them.

The lists of tips/requirements, questions to memorize, workshops to attend and precise schedules to follow has made mentoring seem intimidating, impersonal and manufactured. We need to get back to the basics of mentoring and remember that, at the heart of it, mentoring is one person willing to instill their wisdom and experiences into another who desires to learn and grow.

Valerie Faust, MSOL, detailed the importance of having and being a mentor in her session.

Key takeaways from the presentation were:
  • Understanding that mentoring is no more complicated than one person willing to pour out their wisdom and experiences into another who desires to learn and grow.
  • Understanding the two key principles of effective mentoring.
  • Three key strategies for cultivating an effective mentoring relationship.
  • Three key strategies for cultivating an effective mentoring culture within your organization.

September 2015: Find Your Organization's X-Factors

Presented by Kathy and Ron Coder

Despite the fact that women earn 60 percent of all master’s degrees and 52 percent of all doctorates, they make up less than 20 percent of leadership teams. Clearly, organizations are not effectively tapping into this human talent.

In this session at the 59th Annual IAPD Convention, Kathy and Ron Coder offered practical steps for women and men to increase their leadership capacity, as well as coaching those in a leadership position how to tap into this talent “X-Factor.” This lively session equipped and empowered both genders to fulfill their leadership calling and help current leaders better maximize their organizations’ talent pool.

This session provided a safe and stimulating learning environment for attendees to:
  • Have more confidence in leadership
  • Increase their courage to lead
  • Build stronger professional networks
  • Communicate more effectively/branding YOU
  • Take calculated risks and action
 
October 2014: Building a Better Workplace – Understanding Gender Roles

Presented by Dr. Helen Eckmann

At the 58th Annual IAPD Convention in Chicago, IL, USA, Dr. Helen Eckmann presented an educational session in which we discussed ways that women and men, and those who are visibly different, can work together better. Tips, tools and data were offered for both women and men to make the workplace fairer, including:
  • Roles women are often assigned
  • Perceptions of women and men
  • Career and self-development
  • Five stages of power
  • How to build your brand
  • SMART goals

We reviewed the findings of a survey taken at a Diversity Summit for the Institute for Supply Chain Management, which indicated that women and men would rather work for a man, and discussed how women can identify their competencies and recognize behaviors that may work against them.

Attendees of this session:
  • Analyzed how women and men lead in somewhat different ways.
  • Analyzed the data from a survey showing that both women and men would rather work for men and the implications of that data to women in general and society at large.
  • Learned ways that women and men can gain power and authority.
Watch this quick video and hear from Helen about this session.

 

Resources

Women in Plastics is committed to providing informational and educational resources to help others in the industry be more successful. As we come across articles, links, training, etc. we will post them below for your convenience.

 

Women in Plastics Interviews

Learn more about women in the performance plastics industry and how they began their careers in plastics.


     
   
Meet
Jane Saale
   Meet
Patsy Gono
   Meet
Deborah Wright-Harris
   Meet
Carolyn Faulk

Plastics News: Women Breaking the Mold Network
IAPD's Women in Plastics has partnered with Plastics News Women Breaking the Mold Network (WBM), an empowering community dedicated to the professional development of female executives in the plastics industry. Learn more about their professional development and upcoming events!

IAPD Webinars On-Demand

June 2015: Strategic Intent, presented by Dr. Helen Eckmann

The purpose of this webinar is to equip those attending with the knowledge and ability to effectively communicate their integral contributions to the key initiatives in their organization, or how to be considered the “go to person” in their organization.

Being considered the “go to person” means you can:

  • SEE your job and how it connects to the overall strategy of your organization
  • COMMUNICATE what you do to your bosses so they view you as integral to the success of the organization
  • FIND more ways to track your competition and show you are prepared to help your organization gain more market share

Upon completion of this webinar, you will come away with tools to:

  • Learn your organization’s mission, vision, strategies and strategic intent
  • Develop steps to align your job more closely to the strategy of your organization
  • Create words and phrases that you can use to help you communicate to your boss the ways that you are integral to the success of your organization
  • Track your competition to learn from them and beat them
  • Be considered the “go to person” in your organization

 

December 2014: Building a Better Workplace – Power and Goals, presented by Dr. Helen Eckmann

As a follow up to her educational session, Building a Better Workplace: Understanding Gender Roles, at the 58th Annual IAPD Convention and Plastics Expo, Dr. Helen Eckmann will offer ways that women and men can more effectively gain power in any situation. She will teach you how to read your own power and the power of others. Helen will also review Janet Hagberg’s Six Stages of Power and SMART Goals. You will learn how SMART goals can help your understanding of your organization’s strategy and how to apply these concepts to further your power and role within the organization.

Tips, tools and data will be offered about power and goals, including:

  • Six stages of power
  • How power can change depending upon the situation
  • How to “read” the perceived power of others in any given situation
  • System of SMART goals

 

Non-IAPD Webinars

The Secret Weapon for Women in Business: Networking Redefined, presented by Susan Brady

Successful women credit networking and relationship building as the most important element to their advancement and overall success. Yet many women remain ambivalent about networking, or due to other life obligations, minimize its potential impact on their professional success and opt not to spend enough time developing critical relationships. As it turns outs, the avoidance of networking has become a competitive challenge for women, and time and again, the same themes arise as to why women really aren’t networking as much as they need to.

Having been asked by dozens of companies to drill down on this dilemma (and give some advice on what “good” networking looks like) Susan Brady, Lead Strategist for Linkage’s Advancing Women Leader’s Practice, will share:

  1. A new definition of what it means to network today and the value it holds
  2. Three inhibitors that women leaders face when networking
  3. How to shift those inhibitors into winning strategies for successful networking

DOWNLOAD THE WEBINAR TO LISTEN NOW (53 min run time)

 

 

Community Events

Care Packages

During the showcase at the IAPD Convention members assembled care packages for the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, a local women’s charity in Phoenix, AZ. Care packages included the following donated items: granola bars, water bottles, protein shakes, shampoo/conditioner, travel size laundry detergent and tissues for their social worker’s visits. 



National Manufacturing Day

In honor of National Manufacturing Day, Ensinger, in conjunction with Women in Plastics, hosted Girl Scout Troop #21266. Kim Reddick of MMG along with Michelle Taylor and Tara Stephan of SABIC Polymershapes gave an interactive presentation on how things are made using items such as Play-Doh and Jell-o to explain the different processing methods of plastics. 

Following the presentation, the Troop took a tour of Ensinger’s New Jersey facility, led by Bruce Dickinson, national marketing manager. They were shown how plastics are extruded and cast. Ken Grier, technical manager at Ensinger, took them into the lab to show how the various properties of plastics are tested.

This was done as part of Women in Plastics’ mission to bring awareness to the industry.

Women in Plastics Contacts

The Women in Plastics Common Interest Group is supported by a chair and vice chair position as well as sub-group leaders who focus on specific areas of interest.

Sub-Groups:

  • Communications
    Angela Rodenburgh, Redwood Plastics Corporation, A Member of Prisma Plastics International Inc. 
  • Education
    Jinny Kcehowski, Curbell Plastics, Inc. - Pittsburgh