We’re featuring monthly interviews with IR employees across the globe that demonstrate Ingersoll Rand’s values at work.
Last week we highlighted Kristen Weise’s recent interview with Women in Manufacturing about Intrapreneurship. Today, we’re taking a closer look at Kristen's role.
As site leader for our Kent facility, Kristin supports her teams as they engineer, design, build and service heavy-duty hoists and winches, smaller-capacity hoists and ergonomic lifting devices. In her role, Kristen strives to create a safe, collaborative environment that inspires her team members and delivers outstanding products to our customers.
Tell us about your path to Ingersoll Rand.
I planned for my career in manufacturing to be short-term—until I found my preferred job in the healthcare industry. In my first few years in the manufacturing industry I discovered the challenges and rewards of seeing something built to support a customer’s needs.
What do you enjoy about your current role?
Manufacturing is exciting. It's tough, and it's not uncommon to have curve balls thrown at the team. It means we need to adjust quickly, continually improve and adapt, while ensuring our customers get the excellent products and services they expect.
That goal drives me, every day.
But even more enjoyable are my interactions with my teams. It’s gratifying to hear about their successes at work and with their families, and to see their pride in what they produce.
As a woman in a leadership role in manufacturing, what challenges do you face?
When my capabilities have been questioned—because I am a woman—I’ve used those moments as opportunities to show coworkers and customers how professional and effective I am. What I’ve learned is this: The big thing is to have courage and faith in yourself. You know what you know, and if others aren’t seeing you as a resource or asking for your assistance, offer to help, offer to share your knowledge. Don’t sit back and allow your skills go under-utilized.
What’s next for you and the team?
Well, it's been an interesting first year, that’s for sure! With changing order volumes and the impact of COVID on our people, there have been many obstacles thrown at our team—and they’ve responded like champs! Now, because equity shares were granted throughout the company in September, I am excited to see how our team embraces IR’s value of thinking and acting like owners. I know that, together, we will continue to drive engagement and encourage creative problem-solving to reduce waste and improve our customer experience.
How would you describe the culture at Ingersoll Rand?
I’d say our culture is about being engaged. Our company's purpose says, “Lean on us to help you make life better,” and that doesn’t just apply to our customers. It applies to all of us, as well. While we definitely help our customers with innovative solutions and improve processes and products, we also help each other. Helping each other might mean jumping in if we see a team member struggling, stepping up for challenging assignments or speaking up if we think something needs attention.
Most importantly, perhaps, we each can (and do) address issues of safety. We are incredibly proud of how seriously our team members take safety. We are over 700 days here with no OSHA recordable safety incidents. That’s not an accident—that’s active engagement from everyone.
We want to thank Kristen, for her time, for her leadership and for her teams’ valuable contributions to Ingersoll Rand’s innovative, intrapreneurial culture.