Women2Women - Winter 2018 - 18

Growth2Go

Lean In Circles Making a Difference...
an Interview with Lizette Epps,

Senior Corporate Buyer, Carpenter Technology Corporation

O

n September 20, 2017 Carpenter Technology held its first
ever Impact Awards. Lizette Epps, Senior Corporate Buyer at
Carpenter Technology, a member of the Women2Women Council,
and Chair of Women2Women's Latina Initiatives Committee, was
named as one of the first twenty inductees into the Carpenter Hall
of Leaders. The Hall of Leaders recognizes those within Carpenter
who have demonstrated leadership above and beyond their work
within the company.

takes things on just to receive recognition
for it. I really want to help others make
a difference in their own lives. I like to
see others win and I am passionate about
helping other women be successful in their careers.
So for me, I was bringing something to the women of
Carpenter that would help them develop and better themselves and
that brought me great satisfaction.

Lizette was specifically recognized and awarded for her work
with women's initiatives, most specifically her passion for women
of Carpenter to take part in our Leadership Development program,
known as Lean In Circles, a national initiative founded by Sheryl
Sandberg, COO of Facebook and award winning author of the book
"Lean In, Work, Women and the Will to Lead."

You have been at Carpenter a relativity short time; does
this award typically go to an individual who has not had a
tenured career at the Company?

Her impact statement reads "After participating in an external
leadership development opportunity for women professionals called
Lean In Circle, Liz volunteered to lead the coordination of the program
for the benefit of her co-workers in Reading to help women learn,
grow, and support each other in an atmosphere of confidentially
and trust. After participating in the first Lean In Circle in 2015, Liz
organized the membership, coordinated the process and encouraged
participation in 2016 and 2017."
Women2Women is both proud and honored to have this inspiring
interview with Liz and learn a bit more about the woman, Lizette Epps!

W2W: Liz, this was an amazing honor and surprise as we

discussed earlier. My question, why was it such a surprise
to you?

Initially, the awards ceremony was going to be recognizing teams
for their impact within the organization. There was no inclination
that individual awards would be presented. As I sat, honored to be
there to support my colleagues, and heard our CEO state that 20
individuals would be receiving an award for the impact they have
made; I was excited knowing that individuals would be recognized
for going above what was expected of them. I had no idea that I was
going to be one of the recipients, not because I didn't feel deserving,
but because I never really stopped to think that I was doing things
above and beyond.

When the CEO called my name, I was shocked. The first thought
that came to mind was, "Why am I getting an award?" When I found
out that it was for the support of the women's initiatives with the
Lean-In Circles, I was very proud. I have never been someone who
18 Women2Women Winter 2018

This was the first ever Impact Awards Ceremony held by Carpenter
and it is my understanding that this will be an annual event. The
focus of the award was not based on tenure, but rather the positive
impact an employee has displayed that goes above and beyond their
everyday duties.

Leadership at Carpenter obviously recognizes your talents
and abilities. How did you distinguish yourself in such a
short timeframe?

I am a strong personality, a hard worker, and I don't shy away
from a challenge. I think that the way I have been able to apply these
traits within the organization to advance the procurement vision
has been witnessed and well received. I can perform the tasks at
hand and I embrace tasks that take me outside of my comfort zone.
I take initiative in my career and have reached out to leaders in the
organization, such as our CFO, to express my interest in taking on
other tasks that are completely different from my procurement duties.

As a young female in a company that has many male leaders,
how have you managed that dynamic and not made that the
issue in terms of your obvious success?
Carpenter is a manufacturing company that has been around
for 128 years and as such the gender make-up of the organization
is predominately male. To take a lesson from the Lean-In Circles,
I learned to walk the tightrope, well before walking the tightrope
was a talked about thing. I treat people the way that I expect to be
treated and expect that same respect whether or not we see eye to eye.
I handle professional confrontation well and do not get intimidated
by others. Additionally, I am not afraid to state my opinion when
I feel that it is warranted. At the end of the day being a woman in
the workplace does not make me any more or less than my male
counterparts. We each show up every day to perform our duties in
order to help the organization reach its goals.



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