“A rising tide lifts all ships,” the idiom says. For women in the manufacturing space, this is so true because there is more to being a female leader in manufacturing than simply running a company. Women in industry are a key influence for other women who might be considering pursuing careers in industry, and 2020 Influential Women in Manufacturing (IWIM) honoree JoAnna Garcia Sohovich knows that.
Currently the CEO of Chamberlain Group (CGI), Garcia Sohovich has confronted gender inequality head-on since starting her career as an officer in the U.S. Navy, serving at the U.S. Naval Submarine base in Point Loma, California, and later deployed to the Persian Gulf aboard the USS ESSEX (LHD-2), an amphibious assault ship. One of six women on her ship, Garcia Sohovich had to prove that she as just as capable as the men around her. Rather than conceding to her male counterparts’ expectations of her, Garcia Sohovich saw a challenge which she had to overcome and left having learned lessons that have proven as valuable in commercial industry and they were in the military.
Upon leaving the military and entering the civilian world, Garcia Sohovich took the confidence and knowledge she gained from the Navy to Honeywell, where she quickly moved up in the ranks from a site leader to president of Honeywell Security & Communications Americas region. In just a few years, she was off to a global leadership position at Stanley Black & Decker, before becoming CEO of the Chamberlain Group.
But her success story and resume aren’t what make Garcia Sohovich an IWIM. Rather, it’s her ability to use her experiences to encourage other women not only to enter the manufacturing space, but to thrive in their career, despite industry.
For example, she was the keynote speaker at mHUB’s 2019 Women in Manufacturing and Engineering Day event, where she shared how STEM opened a world of opportunity for her, from high school and through the U.S. Navy, to now. However, she also shares those lessons she’s learned throughout the years that help her to be successful and overcome the obstacles that are placed in the way of many women in industry.
Garcia Sohovich’s path is an example of the possibilities that confidence, determination and desire to help others can bring to any woman—or individual—in manufacturing. And that’s why she was named a 2020 IWIM honoree. Learn what advice all of our 20 Honorees have for females entering manufacturing careers. Download your copy of the 2020 Influential Women in Manufacturing E-Book.