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Advancing Equal Opportunity in The Workplace

Each year, since 1908, the world celebrates International Women’s Day (IWD). For 2023, the IWD theme is #Embrace Equity.  In simple terms, equity is defined as being fair and impartial.  Also, in the workplace context, gender equity requires taking into account differences in order to create an equitable result where everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their potential.

To commemorate this year’s IWD, we decided to look inward to see how Winpak as an organization has demonstrated the important trait of equity among our female employees. We additionally looked at our external efforts to support minority or women owned businesses in our local communities.  The stories you will read below are products of that reflection.  It is our hope that these stories will inspire you to be your true selves, embrace your strengths, and be more committed to serve those around you. 

Equal Treatment
Pamela Ellis is the Customer Service Manager at Winpak Films Inc. in Senoia, Georgia. She began her career at Winpak 12 years ago and has earned a series of promotions within the customer service department which she now manages.

As a single parent, Pamela successfully raised three amazing sons and has currently added two stepchildren to her family.  She enjoys reading, camping, and spending time with her eight grandchildren.  When asked what "Embrace Equity" means to her, Pamela responds, "men and women deserve to be treated equally in all levels of the workforce".  

Pamela has over 40 years of work experience in the manufacturing industry and certainly understands the importance of showing how women are vital to the workforce. 

"I was raised by strong women who excelled in their fields and were good examples of what can be accomplished", Pamela states.  "My gender has never held me back from accomplishing my goals". 

Annmarie Ball (Winpak HR Manager) with her mother and daughter
From left to right: Annmarie Ball (Winpak HR Manager) with her mother and daughter
All Are Welcome
Born and raised in Southern California, Annmarie Ball grew up in a loving extended family with many children fostered by her parents. 

"I have children that to this day are considered family that were amongst some of the first families that were fostered by my parents", Annmarie shares.  "I have a very close-knit family and any given day may just turn into a full-fledged family reunion!"  As a single mother, Annmarie’s greatest joy is watching her daughter and wonderful son-in-law raising their three beautiful children. 

Due to growing up in such an extended family dynamic, it’s no surprise that Annmarie works as Winpak’s Human Resources (HR) Manager, overseeing our HR operations in Rialto, California and Pekin, Illinois.

Annmarie's son-in-law and her daughter
Annmarie's son-in-law and her daughter
Annmarie brings over 30 years of experience with managing employer-employee relations and developing employee talent.  For her, "Embrace Equity" "means the ongoing promotion and execution of equality in all levels of employment, to include wages, opportunities, recruiting… but most important is communication". 

At Winpak, Annmarie has seen examples of how equity is implemented in the workplace.  "I can identify several occasions of embracing equity in my current position", she adds.  "Within the last year with both facilities that I currently have direct oversight of, we have been very instrumental in assuring that our internal opportunities have been presented to our qualified women, which has boosted their motivation and inspired them to feel as though they too can accomplish great things".

Annmarie Ball with her foster sister and mother
From right to left: Annmarie Ball with her foster sister and mother
Despite her busy schedule, Annmarie understands the value of helping those in need. Which is why she volunteers at Single Mother Network, a service-oriented, membership-based organization that helps its members find necessities such as food, clothing, housing, and other goods to sustain their families.  She also volunteers at Love for Humanity, a volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating hardships and difficult times by helping people in need with food, toiletries, clothing, education, and job networking.

For Annmarie, International Women’s Day "is the recognition of all those that have fought the fight before me to avail a platform for me to continue to rise, shine and excel, to acknowledge and appreciate the opportunities that have been made available to me and so many other women through the continued escalations of equality".

Taking On the World
Brenda Caballero enjoys doing many things.  Baking, solving puzzles, rescuing dogs, and playing tackle football are some examples of her personal interests.  As a young professional in the manufacturing industry, Brenda quickly rose through the ranks in her career at Winpak.  Recently promoted to Logistics and Production Planning Manager at Winpak’s production facility in Mexico, Brenda credits her manager for helping with her success.  "I have an amazing boss who has given me all the opportunities to grow without thinking of the differences between us".  Brenda continues: "I am assessed based on my work and achievements and I have always tried to do the same with my colleagues". 

Brenda Caballero (Winpak Logistics and Production Planning Manager) with her mother, sister, and wife.
From right to left: Brenda Caballero (Winpak Logistics and Production Planning Manager) with her mother, sister, and wife.
Brenda grew up with her mother and younger sister.  She likes to think of them as the "three musketeers" taking on the world.  Brenda is very proud of her family roots.  "I have always been inspired by two members of my family: my grandfather and my mom. My grandfather was born in poverty in a southern state in Mexico. He later moved to Mexico City seeking a better life, which he built for himself and his family".   She continues: "My mother worked in journalism at a very young age when it was still not a 'woman’s job' and had to face the difficulties that came with it.  Having so many inspiring people in my life makes me feel very blessed and always challenged to be my best version". 

Brenda also gleans an extra dose of inspiration from her wife, who has a master’s degree in engineering and her younger sister who is an accountant. 

"International Women’s Day is a reminder that I am where I am because of all the other women before me. It makes me think of the strength they had to stand for what was right", Brenda states. "It makes me proud thinking that I may be creating a path for the next generation".

Local Support for Women-Owned Businesses
Over the past few years, Winpak has been a steady advocate for minority-owned businesses in the communities in which we operate.  As a key recruitment partner to Winpak, executive search firm Waterford Global Inc. has developed a deep understanding of Winpak’s business and operations.  Sharing a common home-base, both organizations have grown their global footprints from their respective headquarters in Winnipeg, Canada.  

Waterford Global is led by Karen Swystun, President & CEO and co-Founder.  With over 30 years of executive search experience, Karen and the Waterford Global team have assisted countless manufacturing organizations, and others, in building their leadership teams.   Winpak appreciates its strong partnerships with companies like Waterford Global Inc. who are actively engaged in meaningful and purposeful work, particularly as it pertains to promoting equity in the workforce.

Consistent with Winpak’s company value on inclusion, there is always more that can be done to embrace equity irrespective of gender.  The journey to attaining meaningful equity in the workplace is ongoing, however it helps to recognize the levels of success along the way to provide the motivation for more women to persevere and aim to excel in their chosen career paths. 

Caroline Schroen
Caroline Schroen
Manager, Corporate Communications
Winnipeg, MB

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