Empowering Women in the Pump Industry

Empowering Women in the Pump Industry

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Charli K. Matthews and Cieana Detloff

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure to spend time with so many leading ladies from the pump industry! I found this so refreshing and odd all at the same time.  We were at the Hydraulic Institute’s annual meeting.  For those of you that don’t know, they are the global authority on pumps and pumping systems. I am often asked How did you get here?… what do you want to do here?, and what is your passion?  Well, this week I got to see passion up-close and personal, and I would like to share a few of these moments with you!

First, I will start with Cieana Detloff, my powerhouse content manager and friend!  I was extremely proud to watch her come into the meeting like a leader!  She was on a mission. As I watched her walking around the room cultivating conversations and promoting our brand, I was truly thankful that she believes in my vision and continually adds value for both me and her teammates at Empowering Brands.

During booth duty, I am happy to report I met several women engineers. Some time ago I set my self a goal to encourage more women to enter the pump industry and the engineering workforce and to hopefully inspire them to actively participate in a leading organization such as HI or the FSA.  For this reason, I hope to see  a meeting at the joint HI and FSA meeting in October specifically for Women in the Pump Industry.  It is often times hard to find ladies in the sea of gentlemen; however, for many years that has been the norm at this type of meeting – but I’m really happy to say it’s changing for the better, with more and more women participating at the meetings.

Charli K. Matthews with Christy Bermensolo

After getting to meet Christy Bermensolo at last year’s HI meeting, I knew instantly I was in the right place. We are very much alike and yet at the same time very different.  A mom of three, Entrepreneurial CEO, and an engineer (this is where we are different)… After our many conversations, I have come to believe we have common goals for both the industry and our businesses.  I think the engineering community as a whole needs media to be the voice for all the great work they accomplish daily… When there is purpose and reason behind being social and marketing… Engineers are IN! I want to create that purpose! I look forward to every time I get a chance to chat with this amazing women and I really look forward to meeting more engineers, just like her!

Audrey Mills (left)

Young Product Test & Qualification Engineer, Audrey Mills, stopped by the EB booth, and I had a wonderful chat with her about her position at her company and her growing participation with the Hydraulic Institute. My hope is that she felt welcome and appreciated for attending the meeting and that she will be back, adding even more value, at the October meeting. Getting to talk to her really made my night!

Christine Seymour (left)

Other leading lady, Christine Seymour, a marketing director for John Crane, stopped by the booth, and as we quietly celebrated John Crane’s 100th anniversary, careful not to take away from HI’s big night, I was very inspired.  Always perfectly polished and on point, her presence at the meeting inspired me to be a better marketer.  I look forward to working with her this year and I am excited to absorb as much marketing knowledge as I can receive from this leading lady!

I also met Megan Heer of InproSeal. Thinking… why don’t I already know this woman? The evening was getting a little crazy at this point so I took the time to grab a few photos with her and planned to learn a bit more about her at the next meeting… But, I do know she is an engineer and a strong one and HI is lucky to have her in attendance!

Last but not least, Jen Muir, A fellow entrepreneur, engineer, and a woman that clearly understands that other women constantly struggle and strive with in the workforce. This lady inspired me to my core…  I felt like I won an award with the introduction.  The best part is that I had noticed her raise her hand in the People session and we had a chuckle about us ladies putting our hands down too soon, not taking the opportunity to speak when it arose.   I can’t wait to introduce this amazing woman to the world! P.S. any friend of Bill Livoti is a friend of mine!

I have to thank Kaitlyn Reynolds who made it a goal during the evening to introduce me to all of these amazing ladies, without my prompting. I am so thankful we connected at the last meeting and that she listened to my hopes and dreams…  I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention Mary Silver and Gabrielle Bernardino who help make my attendance and participation seamless and valuable. Mary, thank you so much for allowing me in the PD roundtable discussion… there is so much needed in this space and I hope I can continue to contribute and help these manufactures and end-users!

The way I’ve tried to help manufacturers, end users, and others in the pump industry is with my company’s Connecting power – helping recruiting members to HI, sponsoring a Pump System Optimization course, promoting HI training sessions, and of course engaging on social media… now fast forward to today, there is a category at HI for media partners such as me. This category probably wasn’t created because of my constant persistence to be part of HI, but secretly I’d like to think it was exactly that. Needless to say, it was a personal achievement to stand on the stage and introduce myself and my company during the People session and to then introduce Mr. Johnson and his fabulous presentation on Behavioral Economics!

My next mission is to gather even more Pump Industry Women together in October where the HI and FSA meetings will be co-located.  I think this will give us a better way to network together and learn to empower and encourage each other… Who’s in ladies?

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