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. 

Jocelyn Oberlander is the Marketing and Business Development Manager for ARCH Cutting Tools. She has been with the company for three years, previously serving as Marketing/Graphic Designer, and Senior Marketing and Art Director. Prior to this, her experience spans agency creative work to more specialized inside design sectors. She trained in advertising at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Her favorite part of working as an internal marketing professional is working closely with her team to create meaningful messages to build the corporate image, brand, and reputation. When she’s not developing dynamic marketing messages, Jocelyn stays involved in visual art through a monthly meet-up in Detroit, where she discusses artistic pursuits with other artists, and she also meets with friends to play tabletop roleplaying games to hone her problem solving and flex her creative focus.

On choosing a manufacturing career path.

I chose my career path pretty organically, because of my early interest in art, advertising, and art direction. I never expected to end up in manufacturing, but it’s a gratifying career where I can apply my creative talents in support of professionals who are creating all-American components that touch and improve people’s lives.

Did you have a mentor, or someone who influenced you?

I’ve had many strong women involved early in my career. Most recently, my current boss, Stacey Eeman, Director – Marketing and Business Development at ARCH Cutting Tools, has mentored me for the past three years. Through her advice and guidance, I’ve enhanced my management and overall business skills, and I’m currently learning more about business development.

Were there challenges as a woman in this career?
I’ve faced all the general challenges as a woman pursuing a career in marketing and manufacturing – unconscious bias and being heard for example. I originally pursued a career in advertising to be a part of the change in marketing toward women. In advertising in general, this is a systemic issue of representation, and in manufacturing that is doubly so. I’m pleased to be in manufacturing and I’m happy to note that my voice is heard here. This way, I hope I can open opportunities for more women with diverse roles in the industry.

On achieving career/personal life balance.
I haven’t had issues personally balancing my career and personal life, but I do believe that women overall are expected to assume primary household, and where it applies, family responsibilities. This attitude takes away from a woman’s ability to devote the necessary time and focus on her career responsibilities.  

Advice for the ‘young you,’ and other young women?
Speak up! Your opinions have value, don’t be afraid to show up and offer insights the same way as your male co-workers. And it’s okay to show emotions, and if someone questions your show of emotion, ask them if they would react the same way to a male colleague.

A career in manufacturing can be rewarding for a woman. Don’t let the male-dominated environment intimidate you. Things are changing, and you can help make the change.

Women should uplift women. If you find yourself in a position of power or influence, make sure you use your platform to help other women. Amplify each other’s voices, from all backgrounds and experiences. As I continue my career, these are my personal goals.

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