What Happens in the Circle Stays in the Circle

Kulema McKoy used to be the Environmental Health & Safety Manager (EHS) in Industrial Technologies & Services’ Centac Remanufacturing Technology Center in Davidson, North Carolina – that was before she landed a new role that will allow her to continue to grow professionally and personally.

Kulema says the support of her Women’s Mentoring Circle gave her the self-confidence to apply for the EHS leader position in our Mocksville, North Carolina, facility. It’s a stretch role, but one she knows she’s ready to take on.

“Having this support network of female colleagues has been so beneficial,” she said. “Spending time and learning from so many strong female leaders and peers really helps me see how I can keep growing and progressing in my career. My mentor encouraged me to apply, and I said to myself without hesitation, I'm ready for this.”

CTS launches Women's Mentoring Circles globally
Industrial Technologies and Services launches Women's Mentoring Circles globally
Selma early in her career as a field engineer, installing, commissioning and servicing turbines.
Selma early in her career as a field engineer, installing, commissioning and servicing turbines.

Began with women in Compression Technologies and Services

The Women’s Mentoring Circles are open to all female employees in the compression business of Industrial Technologies and Services, and they offer mentorship, peer support, networking opportunities and more – so women can continue to grow and thrive in their careers. They are the brainchild of Selma Kivran, global direct commercial leader for the sales organization in this business.

“I came to Ingersoll Rand after 20 years in an industrial segment of a Fortune 50 company where there weren’t many women leaders in Industrial,” she said. “I made accelerated progress in my career mostly through coaching from my network and people who believed in me and wanted to take a chance on me.

“When we don’t have that network, we miss opportunities to identify and invest in great talent. So I want to give back a little of what I received over the course of my career and make it easier for other women who want to grow their careers.”


Immediate connections, trusted network

Minh Frenzel, Engineered Air and Process Gas aftermarket product manager, has been part of a circle since the beginning of 2018 and says joining gave her an instant network – not one she had to build slowly over time.

“I found that immediate sponsorship, mentor, network and peer support – all at once,” she said. “I built relationships from the start and became part of a network of women I’d never get to work with outside my department and function. Bonds formed right away. The best part is, I know I can count on anyone in the circle if I need help with something at work or personally.”

So, what happens in the circle?

It stays in the circle! Just kidding. Each circle operates independently with a female leader sponsor; circles choose and hold their own activities, but they often include:

  • Discussions on career development and work/life balance topics
  • Ted Talk videos and discussions
  • Lunch with a senior leadership team member
  • Networking events
  • Active learning sessions

Launching globally now

The Women’s Mentoring Circles started in Davidson as a pilot in 2018; now Selma is expanding the program to launch circles in locations around the world, and looking to expand across the whole company. 

What Happens in the Circle Stays in the Circle
A Davidson mentoring circle recently sat down for lunch with Dan McDonnell, vice president of Global Integrated Supply Chain (GISC) for the compression business, at a Vietnamese restaurant. Circle members learned about operations and how to get more engaged. Dan also shared learnings from throughout his career.