Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics

#94: Susan Brennan COO of Bloom Energy

October 16, 2020 Alcott Global Season 1 Episode 94
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics
#94: Susan Brennan COO of Bloom Energy
Chapters
Leaders in Supply Chain and Logistics
#94: Susan Brennan COO of Bloom Energy
Oct 16, 2020 Season 1 Episode 94
Alcott Global

Susan Brennan is the Chief Operations Officer at Bloom Energy. Susan has more than 24 years of manufacturing experience, including automotive vehicle, powertrain, and components assembly, having also worked in executive roles leading manufacturing for Nissan and Ford.

In addition, she has created and supported organizations that encourage young women to pursue careers in math and science as a way to support future generations of technological manufacturing in the United States.

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights of the episode:

  • From working with automotive giants to stepping into the startup world
  • Bloom’s initiatives in line with Industry 4.0
  • How was it is being a female in an executive role in manufacturing
  • Grooming female leaders
  • Taking calculated risks and taking on tough responsibilities

Follow us on:
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Show Notes Transcript

Susan Brennan is the Chief Operations Officer at Bloom Energy. Susan has more than 24 years of manufacturing experience, including automotive vehicle, powertrain, and components assembly, having also worked in executive roles leading manufacturing for Nissan and Ford.

In addition, she has created and supported organizations that encourage young women to pursue careers in math and science as a way to support future generations of technological manufacturing in the United States.

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights of the episode:

  • From working with automotive giants to stepping into the startup world
  • Bloom’s initiatives in line with Industry 4.0
  • How was it is being a female in an executive role in manufacturing
  • Grooming female leaders
  • Taking calculated risks and taking on tough responsibilities

Follow us on:
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2Wba8v7
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2WeulzX
Linkedin: http://bit.ly/2w9YSQX
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2HtryLd

Speaker 1:

Hello everybody. And welcome to the leaders in supply chain podcast. I am your host strata , calamari managing director of ELCA global. Today. Susan is joining us. She's the chief operations officer at bloom energy. She comes with more than 24 years of manufacturing experience, including automotive vehicles, powertrains components, assembly. She has also worked in executive roles, leading manufacturing for Nissan and Ford in her previous life before bloom. And in addition, she has created and supported organizations that encourage young women to pursue careers in STEM, in what we call STEM, math, science, engineering, as a way to support future generations of technological manufacturing in the United States. So Susan, great pleasure to have you with us today. And maybe let's start by sharing with us a little bit, how you actually ended up in manufacturing. It's not often that we have an executive, a female has had such a long standing career in manufacturing.

Speaker 2:

Well first thank you for hosting me and I appreciate you being interested in my story and in bloom and my career has absolutely been a journey. I started as a lab researcher. My undergraduate degree is in microbiology. I realized that working alone and repeating the same experiment over and over was, was really not consistent with who I am and really didn't meet my objective of solving big problems. That was the goal I've had for many years. I lost my dad when I was five and he was 29 due to a congenital condition. And so I wanted to solve this problem and that's, that's really what started me on the journey from a technical perspective. And so then I took that technical degree and it's been, you know, lots of weaving that caused me to , to start my career in manufacturing. And then here I am, 24 plus years later having been in manufacturing for quite some time.

Speaker 1:

Yes, definitely. It's uh , it's , it's almost 30 years now. And when you look back also an interesting point for you was that you've been with this huge automotive giants , you know, for Nissan, but then you stepped into a pretty much a startup type of a worldwide, whilst blue muse is a listed company, but when you joined them six years ago, it was still let's call it in a startup mode. What made you take this step?

Speaker 2:

So, you know, I get this question often, particularly, you know, how did you go from microbiology dot motive? How did you go from automotive to bloom ? And how I see this as is what I do has been very similar, particularly from automotive to bloom and energy, it's science, it's physics, it's problem solving and it's leadership. And, you know, the learning for me and the learning that I like to pass on to others is his focus on skills, skills transfer. And if you master skills, you can transfer between disciplines. So this has allowed me to bring the skills that I learned from working from very large automotive companies into a really dynamic startup now public energy company.

Speaker 1:

Understood. And since we are on the topic of bloom , maybe tell us a little bit there and tell our audience a little bit, what does bloom do more in detailed because I'm sure that some of them would be curious to know . Yeah,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I love talking about bloom. Bloom is it is an amazing company and we're the first company to commercialize the technology of solid oxide fuel cells. And we're a clean energy product that we provide distributed power. So we provide essential services for hospitals, data centers, grocery stores, as an example, and to try to describe the product it's like stacking large refrigerators together, lined up in sequence and the outcome then is electricity. So we are configurable. You can take these what we call the balloon box. We can put them in , in different configurations. So what I'm most proud of is is that we, we make energy without combustion. And I grew up in a steel town and I'm passionate about air quality and jobs, and the bloom box provides electricity without combustion. And it's just a great way to take energy to the source of where it's needed. So it's , it's , it's a really interesting product. And I, I certainly recommend that anyone go to our website and we have a lot of great information and details on , on the product .

Speaker 1:

Hmm . And you basically, in terms of bloom , one is the unique solution. But the other, the other piece that I found quite quite interesting is the fact that you have decided on the manufacturing side, right? So it's, I think the exact name is solid oxide, fuel cell power generators . I hope I said it correctly, but you , you decided that the manufacturing is based in the U S and only the U S so tell us a little bit about that , that point.

Speaker 2:

So the majority of our manufacturing is in the U S and when I came to bloom that manufacturing footprint had already been set. And it's really a very important part of how we do our job. It allows us to have engineering and development teams next to manufacturing. So you get the opportunity to speak commercialization. And most importantly, innovate. We don't have long pipelines of inventory between us and another location. New ideas come up daily in , in , in the, in the world that , uh, that we live in. And this is a, a evolutionary and a revolutionary product. And it's very common for us to have both R and D and process engineers on the production floor at the same time. So it really it's really an integral to the commercialization, but really to the innovation in order to continue to change and develop and bring on new products and go to new markets, having that , that synergy and collaboration, I consider absolutely critical for our success and scale.

Speaker 1:

Hmm . And I want to come coming back a little bit to manufacturing in the U S because obviously there's challenges and having full, you know, manufacturing, supply chain operations comes with that . Obviously there's a higher cost competitor, you know, on the flip side of having everything in one place, there's the high cost component that comes in basically with a market that you know, like us. So tell us a little bit, maybe about the challenges that you faced when you, when you have this network of supply chain and manufacturing.

Speaker 2:

So, so bloom is , as I said, you know, we're the first company to commercialize this product. So I think everyone is extremely familiar alert, familiar with my old life of automotive and the ability to benchmark large companies, competitors, suppliers, multiple suppliers, you know, a hundred plus year olds , supply chain. Um, you know, that we don't have that at bloom . We , we are, we are building the playbook. So there's a disadvantage in not having a big pool of competitors and an already existing supply chain, but I view it actually as a great advantage, you know, we don't, we don't have someone handing us a playbook and we don't have history. So everything we do, we have to innovate and partners. We have some of the most amazing partners in our supply chain. There are really smart companies out there that are willing to be on this journey with us. And they , they see the vision. They see that the energy market is growing and they have to decide whether they're going to put their resources and they view that putting some of their resources with us and in the energy sector, these are our bets that they're willing to take. And the power and electricity demand just continues to grow globally. So I feel it's a actual advantage to be able to build a supply chain versus having one that already exists. Innovation speed, all the disruption that comes with that, it might be a little bit harder work, but the outcome, I believe that is very superior.

Speaker 1:

Hmm . And one to two to double click a little bit on my manufacturing, because obviously there's a lot of industry, 4.0 initiatives all over the world. And I was reading last week, world economic forum published their white paper on the global light houses . I think they call them, which are the best manufacturing plants in the world and all the different technologies that they use. I was curious if, if you in bloom are, and I'm sure that you do operate with some of those, you know, technologists inside your manufacturing. So I was curious if can share maybe, obviously not going into secrets, but some of the initiatives that you have done for industry 4.0 from an industry perspective, and maybe some of the benefits and challenges that you've got implementing it.

Speaker 2:

So, so we like everyone else are trying to figure out how to do work in a way that's repeatable, predictable and stable. But the difference is we're also doing that while disrupting. So we have created the balloon production way, which is today a third aerospace, a third automotive, a third semi-conductor . So we are taking best practices from these fields as we bring people in. And there are people who have been with the company for awhile who bring their expertise and their core competency. But on top of that, we, we have a lot of really smart people who are engaged and we try new things all the time, working with our supply base things people have read about. But just when you think about the product that we make, the innovation that is taken much of what you see when you see the box, and when you see the box, you don't see what's inside the box. But when, you know, if you went to one of the places where a box is today, most people think about the technology, but we have a really, really innovative equipment team. We make all of our own equipment. We may use, you know, based platform pieces, but then we make the equipment and we write the software to build the processes. So I guess I'm kind of proud that I can't really talk about a lot of the detail of what we do because it is proprietary to the product, but we, you know, industry 4.0 really is how bloom makes the product today. And we do make sure that we, you know, we don't get complacent. We stay on top of , of, of new opportunities and new ideas like everyone else.

Speaker 1:

And also, I mean, now from the, let's say global scale, right, we have a couple of big, big tensions going on. So one is obviously the COVID-19 situation. Another one is that big geopolitical, let's say tensions that exist in between several countries and several spheres of influence worldwide. How do you see that playing out from a manufacturing perspective? There's a lot of, you know , reassuring, decoupling discussions going on more from a broader perspective of manufacturing in general, not necessarily about gloom , but manufacturing in general. Like how do you see the situation in the next coming years shaping up?

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So, so I see, I may see reassuring in a different way than other people do. There are large chunks of work that would have existed in the United States, in the sixties and seventies. When I was coming of age in the seventies that were then outsourced to other countries, I don't, I don't know that those will come back how I see it, maybe slightly different in that the innovations that we're seeing, telemedicine, grocery delivery, online schooling, these innovations are just going to fundamentally change how we live life. And then as they change how we live life, that will change manufacturing. So electronics things that, that, that need to be better suited for a much more durable use. I probably use zoom 10 times a year and on the last three years, and now I use it 10 times a day. So it's a harder hardening that product of this, you know , communication process and who makes the hardware and who writes the software. And how do you deal with the bandwidth issues that are out there? Amazon on steroids? I mean, I see the world kind of full circle. I went from my grandmother having her milk delivered in a reusable container that someone brought to her house to go into the grocery store because, you know, nobody, nobody did that. Who wanted to deal with all the, all the , the management of making the milk bottles and managing the milk bottles and returning the milk bottles and making sure the milk bottles were clean to now, people are getting milk delivered in milk bottles again, and having it, having them return. So I see so much disruption. And so glass was important glass. Then, then plastic was important. Now you see this return to glass. I see so many opportunities. You know, we live on a planet with limited resources. And so how do we, I see manufacturing really as being that catalyst to take the limited resources that we have available on the planet. And I also see manufacturing taking the things that we've already made and figuring out how do we repurpose things instead of making something new, how do you take something that's already made and turn it into something that's useful? So I see it less as a reassuring, not reassuring and more as a, as a, how do you use what is here and how do we use the systems, all of this , these technological systems now that move products so much faster. And I think manufacturing will be very different, what we manufacture, how we manufacture. And it may, you know, I don't think the next generation will be about having the new shiny thing. I think they will be about how do you repurpose what has already been here and, and being able to manufacturer or remanufacture existing materials into new materials. I see that as , as some of the breakthrough and something I believe we can do really well in the United States.

Speaker 1:

And , um , I think that'd be badly needed. And all on the other side, I was reading a couple of weeks ago, you Kia, the furniture seller has opened a secondhand shop. They're testing this idea of selling secondhand or in , in Sweden for now. I don't know how it works out. There were some skeptics as well that were kind of asking me, you really want to buy a second handicap. But as a, as an idea, I think that's the principle of sustainability of circular economy. I think we need to accelerate that as to your point is, as you rightfully said, because we only have one planet and, you know , that's about it.

Speaker 2:

You could only run for so long, you know, and we can't go to other planets right there, but, but I really see, and I think, you know, you're , I hadn't read about the, the Ikea second hand shot , but I think as a, as a concept, it's partially generational. You know, my, my grandmother reused aluminum foil and, you know, never would have considered using a paper plate or a plastic fork. And if she did, she would have , you know, obviously she wouldn't have washed a paper plate, but she would definitely reuse the plastic fork. And I think that whole concept, you know, I, I read, you know, that gen Z has a lot in common with the greatest generation. And I, I think they're going to disrupt manufacturers it, that they have to think differently about how it is not going to just be extracting and making, but it's going to be extracting and making and repurposing and making. I see it as an aunt . I see it as book .

Speaker 1:

And in terms of, I wanted to also ask you in terms of skills, talent, we also getting a question from Kumar on this perspective, like what, what do you see that the industry and specifically let's talk about manufacturing needs more of in the future, right ? Is it automation skills? Is it, you know, digital transformation or , or what , what , what type of skillsets are needed to push the industry forward in the next three to five years? That may be today are a little bit lacking.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. I would say there's the traditional skill gap, but if you really kind of name it, I call it technologist . It's welders, robotics, tech, technicians, analysts, you know, people who can take the data that comes in, make the charts and graphs. They may not be able to necessarily make all the , the conclusions, but putting data together so that that engineers don't have to do spreadsheets. You know, and I see this kind of , um, like technologist role, especially in manufacturing. And I've said this for many years, I, since I've been in manufacturing since the late eighties, and, you know, the terms when I was growing up in the, in the steel town, the seventies were kind of unskilled labor, you know, in skilled labor. I don't see very much unskilled labor opportunities. You need to understand data, you know, you need to understand trends. You have to understand multiple jobs if you aren't , if you're in a , at least in the production lines that I have been, you know , that I have managed. Um, and then I think the, so it's really a skill technical person that doesn't have an engineering degree or a technical degree. Maybe they don't want to go to school. You know, maybe they, they want to get a two year degree, you know , you know, they're not everybody wants to sit in a desk. And of course, you know, I also view education. It's going to be disrupted post COVID. So maybe, maybe that'll make it, make it easier, but there are a lot of really competent people with competent technical skills that don't necessarily have the, you know, the moniker of engineer and, and, you know, w we would any place I've worked with hire those people all the time. So, and we ended up doing the training. I did the train , every company I've ever worked for. We've done that. We've done the training ourselves. And I , and I think in the end, that's okay for manufacturers to do the training. I, you know, it'd be ideal if everyone came out of a high school or trade school with all the skills, but, but really if they have an open mind in today's world, you know, in want to learn and ha and have some technical competence. And then I would say on the flip side, you know, if I had to do my life over and I have two kids , um , myself, I I'd be a material scientist. I think that that is such a , you know, it gets back to this, you know, whether you're extracting material from the earth or you're repurposing material, that's already been extracted, you know, how to make materials that , um , are more functional, use, less water, use, less energy, use less, you know, just, just use less and maybe are repurposable in nature that are lighter. So I think that that's a really exciting field, and I'm actually speaking to a group of middle school students on Sunday , Saturday . And , and, you know, when I, when I talked to young girls, that's something I really encourage them to think about, you know , looking into material science.

Speaker 1:

Hmm . That's a great tip, especially for the younger folks that are listening to this, wanted to also move to something that I know is dear to your heart, and is also a big challenge. Uh , I mean, from where the industry sits from where we sit as , I mean , our day job is actually head hunting and executive search. And there's not, there's a constant, let's say uphill battle. If you're a , if you're a female or a woman in manufacturing, it's actually, well , it's hard actually in general in supply chain, if we look at supply chain in general, but manufacturing in particular problem is , is the hardest of the chain. And how was it for you? And , and you know, how , how did you navigate? Because I can assume it wasn't easy. I also read stories of you being pregnant and leading large production lines. And obviously that's not easy. So maybe tell us a little bit about that.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, so this could be a whole podcast. I mean, I have stories, maybe they shouldn't be podcasted . Yeah, it has definitely been a challenge. And , and , and like my career it's been a journey. And I would say, you know, when I started in manufacturing, women in manufacturing were expected to act and dress like men. And I never did either. Uh, I'm actually famous for keeping lip gloss in my back pocket when I was on the production floor. And for me as a woman, it was really important to send some subtle messages and some not so subtle messages to other women on the production floor could be themselves. Um, and , and it has been a struggle and nothing worth , worth doing is easy. And I'd say the main challenge. And I assume the main skill that I have that I have been able to master is getting your voice heard. And often you will come up with an idea and, or you'll say something, and someone sitting next to you will repeat it verbatim. And the conversation will start as if that was their idea when they had actually just repeated what you said and my best comeback for that was always, well, thank you very much for repeating my idea. I'm glad you, you thought it was , was worthy of conversation. So it's, it's, it's, it's subtle. It's not subtle. It's be yourself. You've got to fight to have your voice heard. And I don't know if it's easier today are not, in some ways, there are many things that are better than, than when I started in, in manufacturing. But I think some things are actually more difficult today. People are less apt to speak their truth. You know, I had men tell me, you know, I don't want to work for you cause you're a woman. You know, you can actually deal with that. Right. You know where that person's coming from, they've been very clear and you can have a conversation around that and you can agree to disagree and they can either come to respect you or they don't. So I do think that the, as the generations come through the workforce, the amount of resistance is not as strong, but you know, it's been a journey. And I really, in the end, my, my, my hope is that I have blazed a trail and broken some glass for other women to follow I've, mentored and sponsored many women in my career. So I look forward to just as the women, before me have laid down a path to doing the same for the next generations.

Speaker 1:

And we get this question and I actually, I don't think I'm in any way position to give , to speak about this, but I was actually asked to speak on how do we grow more female talent? And I was like, I really don't know, but yeah, I gave it my best shot. Then anyways, one of the questions that came there was from , from one email leader was, you know, but how do you even come up and say in a way that the management doesn't understand that you're , I don't know you're coming across as a negative or nagging, or, I mean, I think there's even a concern. That's a significant concern for women to even voice right. And say, look, I mean, I'm going to come across as, you know, I'm a feminist or, you know, so maybe, maybe let's listen . So how, what would you respond to that? Because I think you would know way better than, I mean, I actually didn't know what to reply for that. So I've not been put in there .

Speaker 2:

And I, even after as many years as I've been in the field, I knew do not be, I do not claim to be an expert on, on, on all of this, but, but I do have, I do have a lot of experience and I have been called many things in my life. And I, if somebody takes the time to call me a name, you know, I mean, they're paying attention, right? I mean, you have to really, you have to, you have to frame the discussion. I am a feminist. I will. That word meant something very different when I assigned it to myself, you know, 40 years ago, 45 years ago. But it really means that I believe that women can be competent and women can succeed in the workplace and in , in, in, in , in a manufacturing world. And what I like about manufacturing some days, I don't like it so much, but you always know where you stand, you either made production or you did. You either had a quote , you know, had a good quality day or you did. It's very measurable. So it , I don't want to say it makes it easier cause nothing's easier. It makes it less hard because you are able to measure and have data then to have a discussion. Are you, are you going to be accused of being loud and pushy and you know, all those things probably. But if that bothers you, you probably, you know, you should rethink manufacturing anyway, because it is a very, you know, you , you have to be in , have to have an overt . Now there are many people who are quietly effective , but, but in general manufacturing, people are more extroverted, more moreover. And it doesn't, you know, and I come from a generation where, you know, you just were told to suck it up and have thick skin. I don't necessarily think that that's the most healthy, healthy way to live. And I think the new generations, you know, the generations following have much healthier lifestyles and healthier respect for each other in the workforce. So I don't think you should accept abuse, but, but you do have to take the feedback and filter what is real feedback and can help you and make you better and feedback that just goes over your head.

Speaker 1:

And what would be some of your advice in terms of other manufacturing companies grooming and, or helping or supporting. And you mentioned also, you know, the fact that you've been a mentor and a sponsor to many women, but just in general as a, as a policy and it is a men don't men and dominated world as well. Right. I mean, having men advocating for the cause is just equally important sometimes, but do you have some pieces of advice you've seen some things work better than others in terms of grooming this female leadership.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I think to your point, yeah , it can't just be women advocating for other women. It needs to be people advocating for people who are the most, who are the most competent. But I do, I do always, you know, I do believe you have to have some focus on women because if you don't, the women get lost. So in some cases, and there's some stories I have where I founded women's networks, we have the bloom women leadership initiative, you know, Ford had women and manufacturing. Nissan has as a women's group. And some women are very uncomfortable and they're like, I don't want to go to that. I don't want to go to that because then I'm going to get labeled. And so I won't use which auto company, but , but I've only been at two. So you got a 50% chance of getting it. Right. So I had feet because I am, I love to walk the floor. I love to get to know people. And I realize people aren't going to just walk up and talk to me right. Once they, the, the best thing I ever do is when I first come into a factory, most people don't know who I am. They don't realize who I am. And I go out, sit and picnic tables and just kind of talk to people. And then later they're like, Hey, I know who you are. I'm not talking to you anymore. Or, you know, or, you know, I'm even there . They're like, but, but you, you, you, you know, you get that first hundred days, you learn a culture pretty quickly. So I went down and sat at the picnic tables after I founded , uh , you know , not out of a sponsored women's initiative. And I got feedback out to me that some of the women were uncomfortable because their bosses were saying, Oh, you're going to go to the hand club, or you're going to go to the, you know, to the knitting circle in it . And to me, that's just people being uncomfortable. It's not necessarily, you always have to assume positive intent, right? So it's a production supervisor, whatever, maybe uncomfortable or superintendent. And so I would just go down and sit at the picnic table and say, Hey, you know, I'd really, really be nice to X person could have , you know, you could get them off the line for an hour, or if they could participate in this, I think it'd be really helpful. So, you know, it , it takes, I guess my point saying all that, it takes enormous engagement from leadership. There is no other word I can use. Other than leadership, you have to walk the talk. You cannot , um, you know, you can't, you have to recognize that people are human and it's a change, and they're going to be uncomfortable and address that discomfort in a healthy way that they understand. And then you make lasting change. You can go in and break a lot of glass, and then you don't necessarily make lasting change. But if was going to give any advice to manual , to , to manufacturers, except that people are uncomfortable, except that you have to do the work of getting the teams comfortable and then go out and find some really good women they're out there. I could, I could rattle off a hundred names sitting here and you will get better results in the end. If you want to sell this, you will get better results. And there is so much research now that with data shows that diverse work teams have a better outcome. And in the competitive global world, wherein every manufacturer needs every advantage they can get.

Speaker 1:

No, that's, that's, that's some great points. We are getting some great comments of people that enjoy your stories. And , and we also got this question that I'm gonna , I'm going to throw it to you . Susan is not, and it's not from a diversity perspective, but kumaré , she's asking if you were to go back in time 30 years when you started in manufacturing and change something to today. It's an interesting question. So I'll throw it at you. What would you change? Is there something that you would hope

Speaker 2:

This is going to be a really boring answer? I would eat better. I mean , one thing I, I , I used to drink a six pack of diet Coke. I've always had a lot of energy and I've always eaten out of vending machines. And you know, now that I've moved to California and I actually eat healthy, because it's just part of the culture here. I realized how much more energy I could have had maybe how much more emotional intelligence I could have had if I was not living off snippers bars and diet Coke, but actually eating like a vegetable and some protein. So there's many things I do, but that, that, that's interestingly, as I think about it, that is definitely some something that I would do. And I think I'd be a lot easier on myself. I'm very, very hard on myself from not that I'm a perfectionist, but I have, but I set very, very high expectations and I don't cut myself a lot of Slack. And when things didn't go well, you know, I never had to have a boss come say anything to me if something went wrong, because I would be more critical of myself than they could ever be. So I'd eat better. And I would, I would be less harsh on myself.

Speaker 1:

And the final question from me in terms of the younger audience that are listening, and maybe they aspire to be an executive or a CEO or a C level that at some point in their careers, what would be one or two pieces of advice in terms of shaping their careers and planning, or, you know, what , what has been most work best for you? When , when, you know, when you look back and you take the lessons that you've learned throughout your career.

Speaker 2:

So I would say a couple things, I would strongly encourage anyone to go into manufacturing. When you look at a volume of jobs, if you look at a company that's an industrial or technology or whatever you want to call it, the majority of the leadership positions in general, and in particularly in automotive are, are in manufacturing. So if you just are looking at a, you know, kind of a numbers opportunity, there are many more leadership roles in manufacturing than there are generally and other, other divisions. And you can do so many different things. So you can run a plants , you can be an engineer, you can be in supply chain, you know, the , the, the breadth of opportunity in manufacturing. So, so one is, you know, kind of go where the pool of leadership opportunities are. If this is something that you aspire to and then solve really hard problems, everyone has really hard problems that needs to be solved every company and figure out, you know, in today's world, it's more team related. It was more functional when I started, it's much more enjoyable to be in teams, but, you know, get on those teams, you know, be , be the person that the leaders go to when they have really hard problems. Be , you know, when, when I think of something and the, and whose name pot , you know, when I've got a problem or a solution or a collaborative effort that needs to be managed, you know, who comes to mind, you know, be that, be that person. And the way to be that person is taking on the tough responsibilities. I started my life over at 51. Not many people do that, but, you know, I went from basically, you know, a very stable industry. You know , you wouldn't think that today, but seven years ago, automotive was still pretty, pretty predictable. And in general, it's still pretty predictable. There's an enormous amount of disruption going on, but no cart , people still drive pickup trucks and in most parts of the world. And so I took a risk, right. But it was a , it was a calculated risk, right? Bloom was a , a known quantity. They had product in the field, they had amazing leadership. So you, you can move in one company and move around. If you're in one company, you , you, my advice is you should move around. And if you're okay , bouncing from , from place to place, you should do that. But, but, but take, take calculated risks, not just crazy risks, but calculated risks and always push yourself in the end. I am definitely a lifelong learner. You know, I grew up in a time when women could be secretaries, nurses, or teachers. The advantage of that was that all those things required education and all those things require certification to maintain and keep up. So that whole lifelong learner concept really is ingrained. I would say, in the, in the women of my generation and my grandmother should have been a judge or a lawyer. And she wasn't was, didn't have access to secondary education due to her gender and her socioeconomic status. So she really imprinted on me to be a learner and a reader, and to be, to be curious, and I still do that today. And my house is surrounded with books and, and, and the , you know, the things you were talking about, you know, I gotta , I've got to get on your, listen to your podcast more. Cause I didn't know about Ikea, you know, that one got past me, but, but I read all the time and I never assume that I know everything. I assume that I know that I have experience, which is different than knowing everything. So learn, learn, learn.

Speaker 1:

There's some, there's some great gems. So Susan, with that, I want to thank you for all the great stories and case studies shared. And I think you have definitely inspired a lot of people today and hopefully a lot of women to take on and fight the battles that still need to be faulted. It's a reality. And yeah, I just want to say big, big, thanks. And it was a pleasure having you, having your minister .

Speaker 2:

Well, thank you. Thank you for hosting me here . Fight the battles, but be yourself.

Speaker 1:

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