Jul 15, 2020
What does it take to progress your career when you are a woman
in Manufacturing on the shop floor running production? Diana Soares
joins us for this episode to discuss her journey over the past 30
years from loading parts, to leading plants through continuous
improvement activities. As you may have already guessed, it has a
lot more to do with mindfulness and relationships than it does
being technical. Join us for some laughs and lessons to make your
next day better!
- 00:55 Introductions, Mike and Trevor welcome Diana to the
Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast.
- 4:27 It’s a man’s world, isn’t it? Diana speaks openly about a
comment made to her after asking a question. Being a woman in
a manufacturing environment and the challenges she faced in the
beginning. Diana talks about working very hard, her main goal
at that time was to learn everything and understanding the
equipment, doing every job as a focus when she started.
- 6:58 Is everything okay, you don’t smile? This comment made by
a team member took Diana back and really made her think.
Diana’s body language had the team members thinking she was upset
and this changed things for her. I had to show them that it
is fun and I had to shift focus to be not only on the equipment but
to ensure I spent time on the people. The team member that asked
this question brought the mindfulness out in me and made me think
- 10:07 How do you become more intentional? Diana explains ways
of being more intentional as a leader. Be authentic! Be
open to listen to feedback and don’t be afraid to step back, listen
to the people and be true to yourself and you can make it anywhere
in any role.
- 11:37 Do you remember the broom one Mike? Diana talks about an
experience that she encountered a long time ago, first starting
out. I asked a team member to clean up and sweep and he said
to her “I don’t’ get paid to sweep”. Diana didn’t know what
to do and headed for Mike’s office in a panic. Diana and Mike
took the time to role play the situation and practice on how to
handle it. Doing this helped to build Diana’s confidence and
as time moved on with more role playing she became very good at
handling all different situations.
- 15:46 We also had fun! Mike opens the conversation with Diana,
even during the stressful times we always laughed and this helped
me so much. Diana speaks about when we had to get the work
done we did it and we genuinely cared about each other, we we’re a
team and when we could we always had fun and this helped so much
during chaotic times.
- 16:30 Hotspot. Diana openly discussed about Mike putting her on
the tougher areas, the “hot spots” She recalls one time being out
on Line 12 a very strong male dominant team, we reduced from 18 to
11 and Diana thought how am I going to do this? Diana speaks
about taking the time to learn every station and this gained me a
ton of respect. Diana had people bringing her coffee and
drinks and really warming up to her. At the end, we produced
more parts with less people and the team ended up being just
- 20:02 Short notices and coming to help others. Diana shares her
experiences on being asked to go to other divisions to assist with
operations and helping to improve the numbers. Another time
she was asked to go to another plant and not to focus on the
equipment, she was asked to help with the people and ultimately the
culture. 3 months of talking with the people! Another
experience was going to a plant the unfortunately experienced a
fire and help them rebuild and get production going. The corporate
world knew who Diana was and the value she offered!
- 22:34 So what do you do different? Diana had an AGM ask her,
“so what do you do different’? How do you get the
numbers? Diana’s reply was I don’t know and I truly didn’t
know. It was natural to be myself and be there working with
the team, be yourself and be authentic. Wherever Diana went
the results followed and therefore those questions got asked.
Mike explains Diana’s ability to build a relationship was so great
and worked very well and this is how she built teams and achieved
- 27:10 You put me and a co worker on opposite shifts. Diana
shares a time when Mike put herself and another co worker on
opposite shifts to achieve results. The chemistry Diana had
with this other leader was like no other. The two of them
created a one team culture across two shifts which is very hard to
do. They both took care of each other and it was important for them
to be one unit and one team. At times, some teams will work
against each other. People struggle on how to get two shifts to
perform as one. The best way is to not point the finger at
the team member but to get the leadership together and share ideas
and see how we can help each other so we all can be
- 31:25 Spare me the labour pains, just give me the baby! Mike
had a saying he said to Diana, “Spare me the labour pains and just
give me the baby”! The intent was to deliver and don’t get caught
up in excuses!
- 32:26 What advice would you have, a couple key take aways for
our listeners? Never give up, be authentic to yourself and don’t be
afraid to take a couple risks. Mike and Trevor pay their
compliments and respect to Diana for all she has done for them
professionally and personally.
- 34:38 What was your first concert? Guns and Roses!
Stranded on an island what artist would you take with you?
Diana picks Eric Church!