International Women’s Day with Devon Winter, F. W. Winter Inc. & Co.

As a woman-owned business, we are honored to share the stories and messages of incredible woman leaders across a variety of industries for our International Women’s Day blog series.

This interview is with Devon Winter, Chief Operations Officer at F. W. Winter Inc. & Co.

Why do you think it’s important to celebrate International Women’s Day?

It is important to celebrate International Women’s Day to shed light on how far women have come in the quest for equal rights as well as to put into perspective how far we still have to go. Women are remarkable and our contributions should be celebrated because we are capable of so much, and with the right support and allies we can achieve anything. Our world today especially needs more mentors and leaders. Women are up for the challenge.

What motivates you to be a leader in your industry?

I am motivated by the fact that I know I am capable of being a source of inspiration and positivity for women, especially in the manufacturing industry. Women today only account for about 29% of the workforce in manufacturing and far less in leadership positions. I hope to use my platform to show others that it’s okay to take up space in industries that are “nontraditional.” It’s the right thing to do to go after your dreams.

Are there any female leaders that have inspired you throughout your career?

Barbara Corcoran has been an inspiration for me. She is a self-starter and her messaging to me is inspirational. You really have to believe in yourself in order to get to where you want to go. I also connect with the fact that she also entered a male-dominated field with relatively little platform and support. I respect her for taking up space and persevering to build her businesses.

What advice or message would you share with young women who are looking to build their careers?

Never underestimate the impact of your presence. Show up and take up space, have integrity with what you stand for, in business and life, maintain these boundaries and show up to the room. It may take one meeting or it may take 100 meetings, but showing up consistently will eventually lead you to where you want to go. In this process, it can be difficult to quiet the chatter of doubt but practice “in one ear and out the other” and never let negativity sit with you.

Read the rest of our International Women’s Day blog series here.

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