UPS Canada understands the importance of diversity and values the contributions of all employees. This year, for International Women’s Day, UPS profiled a few female UPSers holding positions ranging from delivery drivers to port supervisors, roles often times considered ‘non-traditional’. These women took the time to share their achievements, along with some of the challenges they face and their advice to young women who look up to them. This month long celebration of empowerment was embraced both inside and outside the organization, resulting in a successful campaign to promote the UPS #GirlBoss. Here are a few of their stories.
Mary Patricia Kelly and Gabrielle Mailhot have been with the company for over 20 years. Both enjoy the day to day challenges of their job and are proud to work for a company like UPS, where women are represented at all levels. “Women are really at their strongest when they stick together. We need to support one another and help each other grow.” says PM Sort Supervisor Mary. Gabrielle appreciates the work UPS has done to ensure women in the workplace are able to overcome any challenges they may face. “UPS supplies support and offers mentorship programs like the Women’s Leadership and Development Committee. As UPSers we always rely on each other for help and support.” she says. Mary describes UPS as the land of opportunity – especially for women working in operations – providing strong training and promotion programs. Despite challenges, Mary maintains a positive outlook, “My goal is to keep everyone focused on safe package handling so that the people and the packages are safe throughout the sort. Every package is important, a gift, part, idea, contract, credit card or phone – something that is wanted enough for the receiver to get it delivered. I try to remind people of this every chance I can so they understand why they are doing their job.”
Feeder (tractor trailer) driver Wendy Erenchuk and UPS truck driver Merrie Suilt have both been with UPS Canada for over 15 years. On average, Merrie makes about 100 to 115 stops and completes about 20 pick-ups. Her job is challenging, but rewarding and seeing her customers every day –and watching them grow – is the best part of what she does. When Wendy started as a package car driver, there were only a few women on her team. She has watched the industry and company evolve as a whole, to include more women in ‘non-traditional’ roles. Merrie believes that women can be successful in any role, if they are provided the correct tools.
Tracey Gaydos-Manning, International Supervisor, has also watched the company evolve over her 35 year career. Tracey works hard with her team to unload the incoming domestic and international volume. “It’s very nice to see our female employees running an operation, being thought of as nothing but equal. I am proud to work for an organization like UPS, where women are represented across the company in various positions including those of power”
It is becoming more of the norm to see more women pursue non-traditional careers and Jackie Galbraith, Operations Management Specialist at UPS encourages her daughters and all young women to focus on their goals no matter what. Having worked at UPS for 25 years, she’s seen first-hand that there isn’t anything women can’t do, if they put their mind to it. Chantelle Gagnon, UPS Plan Dispatch Supervisor who works alongside 45 drivers, encourages young women never to hesitate because the most unsuspecting careers may just have more to offer in terms of growth. As Jocelyn Pike, Compliance Manager simply says, “Just do it. Male-dominated certainly does not mean male exclusive and when you try it yourself, you are going to gain rewards that you never thought possible.”