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CANADAMASQ celebrating International Women’s day

Empowering Women in PPE Manufacturing: Challenges, Opportunities, and the Critical Role in Public Health

As we celebrate International Women's Day, it is important to recognize the critical role that women play in the PPE manufacturing industry. Our Production Manager, Julie Wang is sharing her experience working in CANADAMASQ as a woman.

Julie Wang, Production Manager at CANADAMASQ.

“What is a typical day working at CANADAMASQ?”

Julie: “ As the Production Manager at CANADAMASQ, I oversee the day-to-day operations of the production team. I start my day at 7 am by reviewing and solving any issues that occurred from the night shift. I then plan the daily production schedule and tasks and pass them on to shift supervisors. Afterward, I check my emails to see if there are any issues or feedback from customers or the sales team.

On some days, I plan weekly schedules for production and employee shifts. I also check inventory for the products and materials, ensuring that we have sufficient inventory for both. Communication with technicians and Quality Controls is essential to eliminate any unnecessary issues during production. Additionally, I inspect the safety of the manufacturing environment to ensure there is no potential risk that can harm or injure employees at the workplace.

Sometimes, I take the time to chat with employees, making sure their needs are met, and they are happy during their shifts. Before wrapping up for the day, I review the day's production output and make any necessary adjustments to the next day's schedule.”

Caption: Julie inspects CA-N95 respirator production.

“What’s your favourite part of your work?”

Julie: "As PPE manufacturing is new to Canada, even with my experience in management and leadership roles, I’m still learning about the manufacturing industry and healthcare. I enjoy creating, testing, and implementing new processes for efficiency and productivity. With the expansion of the company, there is always room for improvement and growth, and the company has provided me with many opportunities to grow both personally and professionally."

Caption: Julie runs a test for our new CSA respirator.

“What are the challenges working in manufacturing as a woman?”

Julie: “As a production manager and a mother of two, I have to be in the production room most of the time, unlike office staff who can work from home. However, the company has been accommodating, allowing me to take extra time off with my kids and husband when needed.

There is a stereotype that men are more suited to the mechanical aspects of manufacturing, but as a woman, I still make an effort to understand the machinery so that when an issue occurs, I know where the problem is and how to solve it."

Women in PPE Manufacturing: Pros and Cons

As Julie mentioned, the PPE manufacturing industry has its pros and cons for women. On the one hand, PPE manufacturing provides women with a unique opportunity to play a critical role in protecting public health during a global crisis. Women in PPE manufacturing have the opportunity to contribute to a safer and healthier world while also earning a living wage.

However, the PPE manufacturing industry is not without its challenges for women. For one, the industry is traditionally male-dominated, with women making up only a small percentage of the workforce. Additionally, PPE manufacturing is often physically demanding, requiring workers to stand for long periods and knowledge in mechanics and machinery, which can be difficult for some women.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the challenges, many women have found success in the PPE manufacturing industry. Some women have started their own PPE manufacturing companies, creating new opportunities for themselves and their communities. Like Julie, some have risen through the ranks of existing companies, becoming leaders and advocates for diversity and inclusion.

However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that women are fully represented in the PPE manufacturing industry. This includes increasing access to training and education programs, as well as creating more flexible work arrangements that accommodate the needs of women and other marginalized groups.

Moving Forward

CANADAMASQ is dedicated to creating more inclusive and equitable opportunities that provide women with the working environment and support they need to succeed.

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