ARCH® Cutting Tools is committed to supporting a gender-diverse culture. Research shows that diverse talent – especially gender diversity – drives innovation. But greater diversity gains, especially in manufacturing, can’t be achieved until more women enter the industry. An important way to grow and retain a talented manufacturing workforce is to focus on gender inclusivity. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for 47% of total the overall workforce, but only 30% of the manufacturing workforce.
ARCH Cutting Tools believes that needs to change. With this series highlighting women in manufacturing during International Women’s Month, we want to inspire women to discover all the opportunities in manufacturing that can provide them rewarding careers.
Angel Miller is the Lead Customer Service Representative – ARCH Specials at ARCH Cutting Tools – Mentor (Ohio). She has been with ARCH for 10 months but has another nine years of experience with a tooling supply company in Mentor where she worked previously. Angel is the mother of two daughters, ages 7 and 13, and notes that she has an “amazing fiancé,” who works at another ARCH plant. She’s an owner and breeder of Italian Mastiffs, and she’s an exotic animal lover – including poison dart frogs. Angel also notes that she’s a proud supporter of tattoos in the workplace.
On choosing a manufacturing career path.
I wouldn’t say manufacturing is something I chose or sought out – it kind of chose me. When I started in this business, it just felt right to me. I also found it easy to learn the ins-and-outs of industrial supplies and tooling, and here I am – still going strong after nearly 10 years.
Did you have a mentor, or someone who influenced you?
My grandmother has always been my most important mentor. She raised me and she taught me life lessons by example. She was a registered nurse for more than 40, and she touched a lot of lives.
Were there challenges as a woman in this career?
In the beginning, it felt like it was hard for me to be heard by some customers. They automatically assumed a woman couldn’t possibly understand all this and know what she’s talking about. I just stuck with it, pushed through it, and have continually proven myself.
On achieving career/personal life balance.
I wouldn’t say I have any specific challenges managing the two, but as a mother, it does sometimes feel as though there’s never enough time in a day.
Advice for the ‘young you,’ and other young women?
Never feel like you’re not good enough, or don’t belong, no matter your career choice or your path in life. We all can be successful if we give ourselves the chance. Live how you want to live, without worrying about how others see you. And live loud!