AB&I recently launched its celebration of women in the industry. In connection with its celebration, AB&I developed an Iron Woman character, Rose, who is a nod to the famous 1940s character, Rosie the Riveter. AB&I is celebrating individual women who are pushing through to achieve greatness in manufacturing, engineering, and the plumbing industry as a whole.
To support this celebration, PHCPPros will be highlighting some of AB&I’s own strong women. Read the following Q&A to meet our August 2020 Woman In PHCP, Laura Loziuk, Strategic Codes and Standards Specialist at McWane Plumbing Technical Services.
PHCPPros: Why did you decide to enter a career in engineering or specifically with plumbing products?
Loziuk: Engineering is in my blood – I come from a family of engineers. As a student, I always enjoyed the challenges of my math and science classes. While pursuing my undergraduate degree in civil engineering, I found myself particularly interested in my water and wastewater engineering classes. That interest was the catalyst into my career of working with water and piping products.
PHCPPros: How did your path lead you to a manufacturer of plumbing products?
Loziuk: Quickly into my first role with a large water and wastewater utility company I discovered the traditional engineering role was not the right fit for me. However, I love the problem-solving side of engineering while utilizing my technical skills. Luckily, I transitioned into a field technical services representative position, which is where my skill set was able to thrive. In that role, I worked with engineers to help them troubleshoot design issues with their projects while keeping them informed on the technical aspects of design.
PHCPPros: Can you talk about your job’s duties and how long you have been with the MPG Plumbing Group?
Loziuk: I am part of the team within the McWane Plumbing Group that includes AB&I Foundry. My technical group is responsible for monitoring the codes and standards for the cast iron division of the business. My prior work experience exposed me to a variety of codes and standards in many aspects of design. However, this new role has demonstrated a new and exciting challenge to see what goes on behind the scenes. I would strongly encourage everyone in our industry to become more involved in the codes and standards processes. I am coming up on my one-year anniversary with McWane this fall.
PHCPPros: Have you had any women in the industry mentor you along the way? If not, where did you find inspiration to work in the industry?
Loziuk: Yes, I have been lucky to have women mentor me throughout my career. My first supervisor after college was a woman who was the vice-president of engineering for the company where I was working at the time. Having an advocate who was driven with her career and worked hard to guarantee that my ideas were heard was very inspiring. As a result of that mentorship, I have made it my personal mission to reach out to women who are just entering our industry. It is a great industry, but it can be intimidating for a young woman to enter a male-dominated field. My role with the MPG Technical Services group has exposed me to another great network of women within the industry. We are fortunate that one of the company vice presidents is a woman – it is always wonderful to see a woman with a leading role on the executive level.
PHCPPros: Have you ever mentored other women in the industry? Do you have direct reports who you are teaching while on the job?
Loziuk: Yes, I have very close relationships with several female engineers, designers, reps, and plumbers. I am the Philadelphia Women of ASPE liaison and I love organizing our events with other women in our industry. In particular, I am very close to a woman Philadelphia UA Plumber. I have helped guide her through the business side of plumbing, mentored with team correspondence, and encouraged her to have difficult conversations in a professional manner.
PHCPPros: What words of wisdom do you have for other women in the industry or those who are choosing to enter a job in engineering, manufacturing, plumbing, etc.?
Loziuk: Do it! It’s a great industry where you can build a wonderful career. A career within engineering, manufacturing, or plumbing guarantees an exposure to interesting projects while cultivating lifelong friendships. The industry values relationships and it is wonderful to be part of a field where people truly want others to succeed.
PHCPPros: Is there anything else you would like to share about being a woman in the PHCP industry?
Loziuk: Obstacles to navigate, perceptions, roadblocks, insights, cultural, etc.?
One of the biggest strengths women bring to the industry is preparedness. Women are able to excel within their preparedness and planning skill set. In addition to being prepared, it is critical to be honest with technical information, even when it may be difficult to deliver.
Look out for more in this celebration, including our social media spotlights of women rocking the commemorative merchandise. You can enter the giveaway going on now: https://www.abiproud.com/iron-woman-ad/