“I was looking for a part-time job and a friend referred me here. It wasn’t long before the part-time job evolved into a full-time position, and I had the opportunity to learn to operate a high-tech laser marking system. I didn’t have a technical background and at first, I thought, ‘oh my gosh!’ but as I trained, I gained confidence. I work with great people, in an environment where everyone gets an equal opportunity.”

Susan Mulcahy, Laser Operator and Packaging Specialist – ARCH Cutting Tools – Rhode Island
susan mulcahy
Susan Mulcahy, pictured next to the Beamer Laser Marking System.

Research shows that companies with diverse cultures – including women in corporate leadership positions – perform better.

“We find clear evidence that companies with a higher proportion of women in decision-making roles continue to generate higher returns …” according to a 2016 report from Credit Suisse.1 

A Peterson Institute for International Economics study on gender diversity looking at 21,980 firms in 91 countries provided similar results. “A profitable firm at which 30 percent of leaders are women could expect to add more than 1 percentage point to its net margin compared with an otherwise similar firm with no female leaders,” the report notes.2

According to the book, “A Great Place to Work for All,” by Michael C. Bush, “… many companies, through less than fully fair or welcoming climates for women in the C-suite, are blocking the benefits of female leadership.”

ARCH is a company that is fully invested in a diverse culture that is endorsed and promoted throughout the organization – and it relies on its gender-diverse leadership team to drive its strategy and growth.

Two key members of the ARCH leadership team, Lori Lorant, Vice President – Human Resources and Michelle Connolly, Vice President – Finance share their philosophies, and the corporate philosophy of ARCH in this special International Women’s Day report.   

Lorant brought experience, skill and a uniquely inclusive HR philosophy to her role at ARCH.

Lori Lorant pictured here on the shop floor with Don Piper, Jack Serda and Eli Crotzer.

“I believe that leaders must remain humble and that they must always remain ready to pitch-in, doing whatever is necessary, no matter their title or position,” she said. “I’m fortunate to be with a company that makes that philosophy part of its way of doing business.”  

Lorant is an experienced HR professional with a history of success. She is experienced in talent management, employee relations, strategic planning, succession planning, multi-site- and -state HR leadership, due diligence relating to M&A activity, and on-boarding and the integration of employees from new companies.

Similarly, Connolly, who has responsibility for all financial reporting for the company, offers a unique perspective on her role.

Michelle Connolly at the ARCH – Minneapolis facility.

“While I’ve had a great deal of success at ARCH, I think my greatest satisfaction is in earning the respect of the people I work with,” she said. “I work with incredibly talented, intelligent people – having their respect, and their support, means we’re all successful.”

Connolly added that learning from her team is important. “I continually learn from the people I work with too. I learn new things, unexpectedly, all the time.”

Part of her work includes due diligence related to ARCH M&A activity. “Given the pace of change and growth at ARCH, it’s impossible to get bored,” Connolly said.

Both executives noted that they are fortunate to work within a corporate culture that is diverse and supportive; and both said that it is gratifying to represent women within their organization, and within the industry overall.

“It hasn’t always been easy,” said Connolly. “I have certainly had some ‘curve balls’ thrown my way, but each one has resulted in a valuable lesson that helped me get where I need to be.”

“It’s important there is a place for strong women in business,” Lorant said. “Opportunity and success should be based on skills, ability and ambition.”

About ARCH
ARCH, a Jordan Company platform company based in metro Detroit, manufactures high-quality cutting tools, medical instruments and implants, and precision-machined components for a range of critical applications. ARCH has dozens of facilities strategically located across the country serving the medical, aerospace, defense, and progressive industrial markets. The teams at ARCH are metalworking professionals with industry-leading tight-tolerance manufacturing expertise. ARCH provides innovative and practical solutions to the complex manufacturing challenges of its customers. Visit ARCH at www.archgp.com

1 Higher Returns with Women in Decision-Making Positions

2 Is Gender Diversity Profitable? By Marcus Noland, Tyler Morand and Barbara Kotschwar

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