During Breast Cancer Awareness month this year, AB&I's celebration of women in the industry is concluding. 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 has highlighted some of AB&I’s own strong women. Our final Q&A in the series follows with Maria Cardenas Murillo, mechanic trainee and apprentice at AB&I Foundry.
PHCPPros: Why did you decide to enter a career in manufacturing plumbing products?
Cardenas Murillo: I decided to enter a career in manufacturing because I wanted a job completely out of my comfort zone. A job that would challenge what I was used to that I could be proud of at the end of the day. I have always had an interest in a job that was a little bit more physical. In searching for a career that was not behind a desk, I ended up at AB&I Foundry.
PHCPPros: Can explain your role at AB&I Foundry?
Cardenas Murillo: I have been at AB&I for two years now. The first year I worked in the inventory control department. I was packing and making sure our products were ready to move onto the shipping department. The second year, I was fortunate enough to get selected for the Mechanical Apprenticeship. I am in the process of learning the functions of every piece of machinery and equipment in the foundry and how to troubleshoot and fix anything that goes wrong. My job is to ensure everything is ready to go for the next day without any hiccups so that manufacturing can run smoothly.
PHCPPros: Have you had any women in industry mentor you along the way? If not, where did you find inspiration to work in the industry?
Cardenas Murillo: Unfortunately, there are not many women on the plant floor. I may be the only one. There are, however, women who work in our office including engineers behind the scenes who I know support me and have my back.
PHCPPros: Have you ever mentored other women in industry?
Cardenas Murillo: I have not had the opportunity to mentor anyone yet. My hope is to have more women integrated here at AB&I on the plant floor.
PHCPPros: What words of wisdom do you have for other women in the industry or those who are considering a career in PHCP?
Cardenas Murillo: It is not easy. In fact, it is the most challenging thing I have ever done. The knowledge, experience, camaraderie, and long nights and memories are irreplaceable. Your patience, mental and physical capabilities will be tested quite often, but it is all worth it in the end. Don’t let these moments discourage you. Stick to your goals and plans and you will be okay.