Women in Industry
Discovering your own strengths in industry
While some of us may always have the image of a dream job set in our heads, and take steps towards pursuing that vision, for others, careers can be a journey of discovery. Following the paths that open up along their twists and unexpected turns can lead to outcomes more rewarding than one could image.
For Jasmin Perry, a job in industrial automation opened up after a career shift.
“I took an administrative role at an industrial automation and process control instrumentation company”
Being immersed in the world of automation and process control for the first time, Perry discovered a field that rewarded her interest in customer service, while also having the technical complexity to continue to challenge her. Seeing the potential for herself within the sector, when a chance for advancement came up, Perry seized the opportunity.
“I just took an interest in the automation industry. When a technical support role opened up, I put my hand up and my boss saw I had a natural knack for it,” said Perry.
Moving from the position of sales administrator to sales support engineer, Perry approached the role and the requirements having had a background in the highly-customer focussed industry of event management. Perry saw the parallels in the outcome-oriented nature of the position.
“For me it was that satisfaction of being able to be part of something whereby I’m solving someone’s problem. They’ve got an application that they need a solution for and I’m putting that solution together for them,” said Perry.
Augmenting her previous training, Perry was supported to study, and gained knowledge of the technical side of the process and automation control field. Perry completed her Certificate in Instrumentation, Automation & Process Control while working, yet at the same time was acquiring in-depth knowledge through being hands-on with customers in their factories and facilities.
“A lot of learning for me has been out on the field,” noted Perry. “You’re learning something every day; the average inquiry comes along and then you are applying what you learnt the next time it comes around.”
Remaining open to acquiring new knowledge as experiences come along, Perry overcame expectations that others had about her.
“People say to me all the time, ‘Oh, I thought you had a degree?’” It’s the assumption that people have based on the years that I’ve been in industry and all the things that I’ve learnt along the way.”
The next step was moving to senior sales support engineer, which involved leading the internal sales team. Drawing on her experience and strengths, Perry trained and mentored other members of the sales team. In addition, Perry streamlined internal processes for improved efficiency while implementing SAP training across Australia and New Zealand.
As Perry was developing her skills and expertise in the Industry, others began to take notice.
“I was with Yokogawa about six years and then Rockwell Automation tapped me on the shoulder. They were looking for someone to come in that they could groom into the position and I just happened to fit what they were looking for.”
While Perry had been gaining an understanding of the technical and practical sides of the sector she was in, new ways of approaching sales began to open up. Adopting a slightly unconventional approach, and with the training that Rockwell Automation provided her in her new role of key account manager, Perry brought her passion for customer relationships and solutions to the fore.
“My role for me is more than just sales; I prefer to be seen as a consultant and an advisor, not just someone that’s selling something. That’s always been my mentality, and that come from my customer
service background, where I’ve been trying to help people,” said Perry.
At Rockwell Automation, Perry has been focussed on connecting with the customers of Rockwell Automation based in the food and beverage sector and original equipment manufacturers (OEM). In a field such as this, where tailored solutions and precision is key, Perry has been able to work with customers to radically improve processes.
“I’ve got some clients where I’ve taken them from having minimal formal processes or migration strategies in place, to developing a plan and introducing automated processes to make their plant more efficient and profitable,” said Perry.
Working with clients on these solutions, Perry returned to her philosophy of being a consultant and advisor.
“I think, traditionally, a lot of people would see sales people as just ‘sales people’, but I don’t believe that’s true, especially with industrial automation. We’re not just box sellers; we are solutions providers,” said Perry.
“We’re not just here to sell them something and then say ‘See you later’. We have an obligation and a responsibility to support our client in their digitization journey, from being completely inefficient and manual, all the way through to being a profitable automated site.”
Earlier this year, Perry was nominated as a finalist for the Rising Star award at the 2019 Women in Industry Awards. For Perry, this accolade brought home the journey that she had been on from her first role to where she was now, and how she’s had to put herself into situations where she had to be confident in her abilities.
“It was such an honour to be nominated because it’s a challenging industry and over time I’ve learnt to not be afraid to speak up and to have a voice,” said Perry.
Being nominated for this award reinforced the successful work that Perry had done since she had initially put her hand up to move up in her role.
“To be recognised on how hard I’ve worked, and all the things I’ve achieved, for the company to recognise that, it was a really big deal for me. It gave me that reassurance that I am doing a good job,” said Perry.
Putting the skills and knowledge that Perry has learnt throughout her career into practice has led to a few big wins for herself and for Rockwell Automation. Perry recalled working on a large client that Rockwell Automation was previously not engaged with. Through Perry’s focus on customer service and disciplined approach to sales, she was able to build strong relationships with key influencers and decision makers. Through these connections, Perry was able to introduce solutions and services from Rockwell Automation, ultimately establishing a national framework agreement which has led to Rockwell Automation being part of the client’s long term plan to modernise their plants across the country.
During experiences such as this, and in the context of the male-dominated nature of the process control and automation industry, Perry has had to back herself on her expertise and perspective.
“Just because I might be new to a certain role and that person might have been doing it for five years, that doesn’t make me any less competent than they are, because there’s other experiences that you can bring to a role to add value.”
Looking back on her career, Perry highlighted that being confident in her abilities has been what has led her to succeed.
“Don’t ever underestimate yourself,” said Perry. “As a women in this industry you need to be resilient and confident, and if you think you know the answer, speak up”.
Rockwell Automation Earns Top Marks in 2019 Corporate Equality Index for Seventh Consecutive Year
Rockwell Automation Earns 100 percent on Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 17th Annual Scorecard on LGBTQ Workplace Equality
Rockwell Automation, the global technology leader committed to making the world more productive and sustainable, proudly announced that it received a perfect score of 100 percent on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
Rockwell Automation joins the ranks of 560 major U.S. businesses which also earned top marks this year.
“Rockwell Automation is proud of our inclusive culture that celebrates our global employees,” stated Blake Moret, Rockwell Automation Chairman and CEO. “It is important that our employees are comfortable being who they are in the workplace and are committed to strengthening our environment where each employee can and wants to do their best work.”
“The top-scoring companies on this year’s CEI are not only establishing policies that affirm and include employees here in the United States, they are applying these policies to their global operations and impacting millions of people beyond our shores,” said HRC President Chad Griffin.
“Many of these companies have also become vocal advocates for equality in the public square, including the dozens that have signed on to amicus briefs in vital Supreme Court cases and the more than 170 that have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act.
Time and again, leading American businesses have shown that protecting their employees and customers from discrimination isn’t just the right thing to do -- it’s also good for business.”