Get to know WiM’s new Chairperson, Lynn Kier!
As our 2020 fiscal year kicks off this month, Women in Manufacturing (WiM) is thrilled to welcome our new Board of Directors Chairperson, Lynn Kier! Lynn is Vice President Corporate Communications with Diebold Nixdorf and has been a part of WiM for three years. Read on to learn more about Lynn, her excitement about the future of WiM, and valuable advice to fellow women in manufacturing.
Please tell our members a little bit about your professional background and work in the manufacturing industry.
I have worked in the manufacturing industry for over 20 years in many different functions including finance, training and development, operations, sales, marketing and communications. I have been fortunate to have had a diverse experience in the industry and have developed strong business and analytic skills as a result. I have worked in the automotive industry, both for an OEM and a supplier, the industrial space and now in the financial technology sector.
How did you first get involved with Women in Manufacturing® (WiM)?
I first became involved with WiM when I was asked to participate in a panel discussion at the very first Women in Automotive South conference in 2017, which is now called WiM South. I was thrilled to be asked to participate in the conference as a panelist and I was even more thrilled to be part of what was a very meaningful experience – I felt so connected with the content of conference and with the attendees. I remember leaving the conference and thinking to myself, I have to get more involved with WiM!
What do you wish everyone knew about WiM?
WiM is for anyone and everyone that works as part of manufacturing or is interested in a career in manufacturing – as our motto states “from the shop floor to the C-Suite,” and I would extend this to also say for the women and the men who support us. The exchanges and learning at WiM are powerful, uniting and energizing. We all learn from each other and part of the beauty of the experience is bringing people together to share experiences and perspectives in a safe and supportive environment.
If you could only use one word to describe WiM, what word would you use? If you could only use one word to describe yourself, what word would you use?
WiM: Life-changing and Powerful. It’s hard to describe WiM with just one word, because WiM is so many things. I would say life-changing because for me, it certainly was. WiM introduced me to others in manufacturing who I related with and learned from – and who also related and learned from me. That’s powerful, which I why I also use this word to describe WiM.
Lynn: Optimistic and Enthusiastic
We conduct this interview one year from now celebrating what a great term it’s been for you in this role, what did we achieve together?
As we are in the throes of the COVID-19 pandemic, I would say that a year from now we will have pivoted to virtual conferences and virtual community gatherings and strengthened our sense of community as a result.
I think we’ll also see an increase in our membership as the value of what WiM provides to women (and the men who support us!) in manufacturing will become recognized as we navigate through the post-COVID-19 pandemic and really bring a strong sense of community that is accessible to our manufacturing colleagues all around the country.
I also think that as a result of pivot to the virtual world, WiM will have expanded our reach to all of our manufacturing colleagues around the world.
What do you believe is the most important WiM initiative?
This is a great question and one that I would have answered differently to just a few months ago as our conferences – WiM provides inspirational, motivational and educational conferences, bringing people together in ways only WiM can do. However, I think the real value of WiM is the connection we bring to one another – and now, with our virtual community chats and upcoming virtual conferences, I see that as our real value. By bringing people together, we are providing a sense of community and as a result, are opening the discussions to even more topics that strengthens our understanding of each other and our contributions to our industry.
What might we be surprised to know about you?
Most people would be surprised to know that I have a twin sister who looks, sounds and acts just like me – so there are two of us out in the world!
Is there any advice you would give to a woman who is just starting her manufacturing career?
I would offer one single piece of advice to anyone entering manufacturing and that would be to be confident and true to who you are. There is room for all of us in manufacturing to add value and to make a difference. I have been so fortunate to have had so many opportunities in the industry and I would simply say be yourself, trust yourself and make sure that you also enjoy yourself!