top of page
Search

Truth Has No Color

Where the light is brightest, the shadows are deepest. My career has been blessed to see more good days than bad ones, but I haven’t been immune to the ugly side of inclusion. I’m sharing this example below with hopes that we can all adjust our lenses to #embRACE our differences, whether it be race, age, gender or educational background.


This 3D rendering is the production line that I helped to design and it’s also where I meet my first diversity challenge.


I had to go deep into the archives for this story but in my first engineering job, I experienced a situation in where production was halted to due to having quality issues.  


The superintendent requested that I adjust the parameters to overcome the problem.  Even though I was a young engineer, my ethics would not allow me not be dishonest in changing my calculated specifications.  He said he’d give me 15 mins “to get my (expletive) machines working”. I wasn’t upset because I was more focused on the problem not his ignorance.


I had planned months for the startup of the new products … I had done my calculations even did cross reference checks.


Twenty minutes later he came back and this time with a vengeance, “if you don’t change the (expletive) parameters I’m gonna run your (expletive) out of this plant … these new engineers don’t know what the hell they’re doing, what school did you come from anyway?”


He said much more but I think you get the point.


I felt angry, disrespected, embarrassed, and confused but what hurt the most was all of the operators and some of my colleagues were there to witness me being dehumanized. I told him that he could do whatever he wanted to with his production line but if he wanted subpar settings then he’d have to find another engineer because I was not going leave there until I found the root cause.


Five minutes later my manager and advocate comes on the scene and asked if I had it under control and he encouraged me to take as long as I needed. I told him about the condescending comments, and he said don’t worry about it I got your back.


Long story short, my mentor and I investigated the failures over the next hour and discovered that the design engineer made a typo in the bill of materials. If not addressed, the failures could have caused millions of dollars in warranty losses.


I learned a valuable lesson that day, trust your gut and fight through the layers of diversity challenges no matter what obstacles are thrown in your way.

86 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page