Women in Industry – Lauren Jarman
Atlantic Forklift Services
Director of Administrative Services
7 Years on Job
The running joke about my role is that I’m on “Team Never Bored.” My responsibilities include the HR and IT functions and I also lead the Finance/Accounting team. As we’ve worked to grow this business from the ground up, everyone has been asked to wear multiple hats and work together to establish roles and responsibilities based on the business needs. You’ll never hear anyone say ‘that’s not my job’ because we make it a priority to help each other no matter what the circumstances are.
Vital Tools and Skills
Communication and change management skills are definitely at the top of the list. I interact with team members from every part of the organization and many different vendors, and all of those folks have different wants, needs, priorities and agendas. Being able to switch gears quickly, prioritize tasks and keep things moving forward requires constant communication and lots of energy! It’s important to have a general understanding of products, but not intimately. My position requires asking questions and helping our team think about how different product and service offerings may impact the business and our team in different ways. If we offer a new product or service, that ultimately impacts all facets of the business, so we have to be prepared for that.
Working in a Male- Dominated Industry
I grew up the youngest in my family with two older brothers, so maybe that helped prepare me for working in a male-dominated industry. I also had the privilege of working with some very talented women who paved the way in male-dominated industries early in my career. I remember being told early on that we all put our pants on the same way, no matter your title or role, male or female, and that has stuck with me. I believe it really boils down to working hard at whatever it is that you’re doing and ultimately everyone must earn the respect and trust of their peers.
I have always been very goal-oriented and driven, but I also really enjoy being part of a team and helping others be successful. Some might say that those characteristics don’t always go very well together, but it’s all about finding the right balance. Working hard, but not so hard that you aren’t having fun and enjoying what you’re doing and who you’re working with. You also can’t be afraid to have difficult conversations or ask the tough questions, but there is a way to do that respectfully and thoughtfully. Genuinely caring about other people and communicating openly and honestly is always going to pay off in the long run.