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4 Inspiring Women In the Coating Industry

The coating industry has been a male dominated profession due to gender stereotyping, unequal job opportunities, and pay disparity between men and women. In the past few years, however, women are beginning to rise to higher ranks in the coating industry and are starting to pave the way for other women who are interested in joining.
Here are 4 inspiring women in the coating industry who have some great tips for other women who want to get into the industry.
1. Chelsey Reschke, Vice President, Coating Division, Keymay Industries
Reschke, who is based in Alberta, Canada, has learned a lot from the coating industry. She says one of her proudest achievements was taking a job on an overseas pipeline project that she didn’t feel qualified enough for. (Not feeling qualified enough is a common negative belief amongst experienced women in business and has recently been coined as the “imposter syndrome”.)
According to Young Women In Energy, Reschke believed taking the job forced her to rely on herself as she was no longer around her support network when things got difficult. Her tip to women is to dive in headfirst if they are thinking of starting a technical or managerial position in corrosion as there are many opportunities to start at entry level and move into management.
2. Joyce Wright, Program Manager for Organizational Development, Northrop Grumman
Wright has some excellent pieces of advice when it comes to women entering the coating industry. According to PaintSquare, she recommends that female coating workers get mentors. She feels she missed the opportunity as she didn’t know about the option of mentorship.
Wright also believes that its imperative that female coating experts are open to change. The industry is changing rapidly and to increase their chances of success it’s important to be able to flow with the moving times to keep up with trends.
She also believes anyone can become leaders. She says: “Leaders don’t just come out of the woodwork.” They come from being in the industry for a long time and evolving. Leaders can be developed.
3. Lana Ponsonby, Coatings Trainer, Newport News Shipbuilding
Ponsonby wanted to quit her first coating job when she started her career in 1985. But what kept her from quitting was knowing what her long term goals were and realizing she needed to keep at her job if she wanted to achieve them. She believes if you want something worthwhile in life, you have to stick with it.
Ponsonby highly recommends goal setting for women in the coating industry as it gives them a roadmap on how to make decisions.
She also believes mentorship is extremely important. She would have found her first job even more difficult if it wasn’t for her mentor who gave her pointers and goals. Ponsonby feels that women’s success in the industry relies on them having high ethics and keeping the quality of their jobs high. She believes “if you try and portray yourself as something you aren’t, it’s very easily seen.”
4. Alison Kaelin, Founder, A.B. Kaelin
Kaelin has been working in the coating industry for 25 years and has some unique advice for women in the coating industry. She believes women need to prove that they can do what their male counterparts can do and unfortunately sometimes this means having to work harder to get equal recognition.
Women also need to distinguish themselves from their male counterparts by showing what they can bring to the job as women. Women and men have different unique strengths and women have to realize that although their personality characteristics may vary from men, this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, these differences are strengths. One of the biggest takeaways from Kaelin is that women should be themselves.

0ba8618 Aisha Tejani
Aisha Tejani is a contributing writer of Castagra Products, a storage tank and wastewater coatings manufacturing company that is highly acclaimed for its sustainable coatings, cold weather tank and secondary containment coating applications. Castagra products are NSF-61 certified and are used by the world’s top water and wastewater contractors.