International Women’s Day 2021

05 March 2021

IIMAK Celebrates Our Female Associates As Leaders In The Industry For Over 30 Years

In 1977 the United Nations officially marked March 8th as International Women’s Day. Over 44 years later, we continue to live in a world where gender equality is something we must continue to push for globally. We believe that women worldwide deserve the same social, economic, and political right’s as men. We must celebrate the achievements made within those areas and collectively continue to create a gender-equal world.

To IIMAK, this is not just a day for us to speak up about women’s equality but to recognize and celebrate those who have made strides in their lives and careers with our company.

Paula

Paula

As our Customer Support Specialist for the last 5 years, Paula has held various positions at IIMAK. Starting as a Slitting Operator in 1988, she’s made her way over to sales support and customer service-focused roles over the years. When Paula started, IIMAK only had one location in Buffalo, NY – Now she says, “It’s amazing to see how IIMAK has grown into a global company since I’ve joined.”

Paula has been motivated by her daughters to work hard “I want to be their role model,” she says, and that “they motivate me every day.” Her passion and “all in” attitude certainly carry over to her team and our customers “being recognized as a contributor and knowing that I add value to IIMAK is fulfilling.” As someone who’s had the opportunity to play a part in various roles internally, one thing she’s learned is to have confidence in what she does “ I’ve totally grown personally and professionally, and I’ve learned so much within the industry.”

Paula is very committed to teamwork, and as a company, we could not agree with her more. She told us that if there’s one thing that everyone should learn, it’s “To know how to work with a team. You won’t get anywhere if you’re only relying on yourself and your ideas.” Many colleagues of Paula’s will describe her as someone who’s easy to get along with, dedicated, motivated, and personable with all of our customers.

Her advice to other women starting in their careers is to “work hard and have fun while doing it- You must enjoy what you do, it might not always be easy, but you’ll learn and grow from it, and loving what you do will make your life better and your job easier over time.”

Connect with Paula on LinkedIn 

Peggy

Peggy

Peggy joined IIMAK as a Slitting Operator in April of 1989 and is now our Principal Tech Support Technician. Growing up, she wanted to work in a sprinkle factory (who doesn’t want to see rainbow sprinkles every day?!), and many of those who engage with her at the office will describe her as a witty, optimistic co-worker whose personality never falls short from entertaining!

She’s worked for IIMAK for over 31 years and says “the people, the teamwork, the opportunity to advance, and the feeling of accomplishment when helping others” is what’s made her stay with us for as long as she has. Her Grandfather inspires her to work hard every day, “he had an incredible work ethic,” she said. Having learned many things over the years, the one thing that’s stuck with her is knowing to see things from other people’s perspectives, “I work with customers, and understanding where they are coming from and what they need helps me help them.”

Her one piece of advice to those starting in their career is to “listen, learn, and respect,” and one of the most valuable skills you can have is to know how to communicate and understand those you work with.

She says IIMAK has evolved, matured, and grown tremendously over the last 31+ years that she’s been here, and she’s looking forward to seeing where the company will be in another 30+ years!

Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn 

Jennifer

Jennifer

Our Senior Supervisor at our Northpointe Distribution Center, Jennifer, started with IIMAK almost 32 years ago as a Slitting Operator in June of 1989.

Within those 32 years, Jennifer explained how much IIMAK has grown and changed over time, “We have grown in every way possible in the last 30+ years.” IIMAK’s infrastructure locally and globally, the workforce population, and our product offerings have evolved so much, and Jennifer has been around to witness it firsthand.

Growing up, Jennifer wanted to be a hockey player; however, she didn’t make her hockey dreams come true. She continues to be active outside of IIMAK, kayaking often in the summer, cooking, and playing the drums.

Most colleagues would describe Jennifer as a leader who radiates high energy, consistently motivates her team, and has a constant pulse on our business if you want to know what’s going out the door and when she’s the woman to ask.

She expressed that her advice to others starting their careers is to “show up, be positive, be engaged, and be open-minded. Your success is up to you.” So what’s kept Jennifer at IIMAK over the last 30+ years? The fact that she’s always felt like a part of a team. “You’ll always have opportunities to grow, and you’ll never be bored no matter what role you’re in.”

Jenifer had one request that said so much even though she said so little, she asked for a shout out to her team and said “I’m proud of my team, so very much. I’d like a shout out to them in there. I’m nothing without them.” Honestly, if that particular request doesn’t tell you what it means to be an “IIMAKer” we don’t really know what else does.

Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn 

Jill

Jill

Jill started with IIMAK 31 years ago in our finance department and has grown within her department, and is now our Lead Payroll Administrator. Her role has always given her a sense of accomplishment and pushed her to do the best she can. Many of those who know Jill will say she is kindhearted and dedicated to what she does every day.

Growing up, Jill wanted to be a teacher and was raised in a large family with 11 other siblings whose names also start with “J.” In her free time, she stays active and often runs and cycles to clear her mind and enjoy the outdoors. 

After building her career at IIMAK, she’s learned “to be flexible and help others whenever I can,” a true team player.

When asked who at IIMAK has made a significant impact on her, she referred to a retired employee, and she said they were “someone you could always go to, who was personable and always talked to you, not at you, who’s hard work showed.” So, at IIMAK, when we say “impressions that last,” we are not referring to our products; we’re referring to our employees and the strong impact they make on our employees and customers.

So what’s Jill’s advice to those starting in their careers and figuring out what exactly it is they need to know in the business world? It’s that “You must have social skills to have the ability to relate and empathize with others” and to “choose a career that you enjoy and are passionate about.”

Diane

Diane

As IIMAK’s Maintenance Support Specialist, Diane runs a crucial part of IIMAK that plays a role in our plant operations. Believe it or not, 31 years ago, Diane was hired as a temp and is now one of our longest termed female employees who makes a daily impact on our business.

Everyone knows Diane and not because she’s been here as long as she has, but because she’s worked hard to make the impact that she has internally. One of the reasons she’s been with IIMAK for over 30 years is because she was given so many opportunities to progress through various departments and broaden her skills and experience.

Growing up, Diane wanted to be a steel worker just like her father, “When I was 9 my father’s steel mill has an open house. I got my little hard hat, saw the overhead crane that he ran and the red hot steel bars shooting out of the rolls, I was so impressed.” Although she didn’t end up following in his exact footsteps, she certainly has made a mark internally across multiple sectors of our company over the years.

When asked how much the company has evolved over the years since she’s joined, she said, “IIMAK is SO different now, yet it still feels the same, like home.” Her advice to others and one of her most significant take away’s from working at IIMAK is to “have confidence in yourself, and what you do so you can continue moving forward.”

Connect with Diane on LinkedIn

The dedication, pride, and achievements of these women is overwhelming, and what they have accomplished in over 30 years of being with IIMAK is incredible. Each of them holds a piece of the IIMAK puzzle, not one bigger than the other, just a different shape.

They all show enthusiasm for the people who work here, and each of them answered one question precisely the same, and that was “What about IIMAK has made you want to continue working here for over 30 years?”, that answer was “The people and the opportunities that IIMAK provides.”

We want to challenge everyone to celebrate women and forge a gender-equal world not just today, but every day! Take the time to recognize the women you cross paths with - Whether it’s your co-worker, a friend, a mother, or a daughter, realize their strength, positivity and encourage them to do, feel, and be the best women they can be.

We’d like to say thank you to Peggy, Jennifer, Jill, Diane, Paula, and the rest of our female staff at IIMAK for all they have done and continue to do now – You ladies are amazing, strong and unique in you own ways, IIMAK would not be what it is today without you all!

If you’d like more information International Women’s Day you can visit their website here: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/

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