Junior is motivating, without dominating, in logistics
As the first freshman to be accepted into the Logistics Management Council, Lindsey Mason uses her passion for leadership to balance course work, the Central Michigan University pom team and internships.
According to a 2013 Education Data Show Gender Gap in Career Preparation report, women make up fewer than one in four students in STEM Career and Technical Education programs, fewer than one in six students in manufacturing and architecture and construction-related CTE programs, and fewer than one in 10 students in transportation, distribution and logistics CTE programs.
Mason said she encourages women to embrace diversity in an innovative work force.
The Canton junior has had internships with Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Amway Marketing Company.
Mason holds leadership positions in several organizations such as Alpha Kappa Psi, a business fraternity, and the Logistics and Marketing Council. Mason has served as on the executive board of both organizations.
Mason sat down with Central Michigan Life to talk about her experience as a leader on campus and working in a male-dominated workforce.
As a woman interning at companies like Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Amway Marketing Company, do you feel women are underrepresented in Marketing and Logistics?
MASON: Yes. The vice president of (Amway), who is female, told me men typically dominate the supply chain industry. As a female you're the minority and if you don't have the same type of humor or personality as the men you work with, you won't be able to move up as quickly. Being able to fit in with them is the only way women can move up. It's important for working cohesively in teams. It's been important to have the personality as well as the skills.
Does this factor into your plans for the future?
It made me question where I want to (go) because I've worked in petroleum, which is male-dominated. It makes it more stressful and high-pace in comparison to other industries. All the leaders are male, so if I ever want to move up and be in a higher position I have to pick the right company and make the right moves to end up where I want to be.
Can you elaborate on what it means to have a man's personality in business?
It's all about how you can relate to your coworkers and lead people. Society is becoming a lot more laid back, so you have to be able to have fun with your coworkers and employees and be able to motivate them without being dominating. Something that Amway taught me was to lead without authority and that stuck with me.
Do men have similar experiences when working in STEM fields?
I think it's something they don't have to consider as much because of how our society is. Men are looked at as leaders and strong alpha males. I think men are more confident and secure in their position when they're applying for jobs.
Do you feel there is a strong representation of women in the STEM-based courses taught at CMU?
I've only had about two or three female professors. There are a lot of male professors that still support me. Just recently, the Logistics Management Council adviser became a female. It's cool to see (women) starting to (participate in STEM).
Do you feel as if you've had to work harder to be recognized as a prominent figure in the STEM fields?
I'm not someone who just sits in class and tries to be quiet, I'm pretty outgoing. With (those characteristics) combined with being a girl. I'm assumed to be ditzy, whereas for a guy it's considered confidence. I have to prove I'm taking the class seriously to prove to professors that I am going to stand out and meet expectations.
What is your advice for women who want to work in marketing and logistics?
For women, the earlier you get involved in (organizations) geared toward your major proves you can compete with men in the field and sets you apart. Since my freshman year I have had internships, a part of Alpha Kappa Psi and was the first freshman accepted into LMC. It shows on your resume and employers take you seriously. Once you get your foot in the door, it's easier to branch out and show what you can do to prove that you're worth the time for an interview. At the same time, try not to spread yourself too thin that you can't give full effort to your organization. Evaluate what is most important and make that the main focus of what you want to achieve that semester.