What it’s Like to be a Female Leader in the Pallet Industry
When our vice president Amy Olson first started out in the pallet industry 14 years ago, it was uncommon to encounter women on either the operations or management end of pallet production.
While it continues to be rare, there are more women entering the industry today and many, like Amy, are carrying the load. We sat down with Amy to find out what it’s like to be a female leader in a male-dominated field.
- Why did you decide to enter the pallet industry? My outgoing personality drew me into sales, but it was my sister Mia Allen that led me to sell pallets. I saw the success that she enjoyed in the industry before I decided to follow in her footsteps.
- What do you like best about your job? I enjoy developing relationships and I absolutely love the thrill of closing a sale, especially in this fast-paced business! Above all, however, I genuinely care about and feel privileged to help my customers solve their unique pallet needs. My clients work in the complex supply chain and have a lot weighing on their minds; that’s why it gives me great satisfaction when my service lightens their load.
- How does working in a male-dominated industry affect your leadership style? Males are naturally more aggressive. I think I have adapted well to this by becoming more assertive individually as well as in the way I lead. I promote ambition and encourage all employees to take initiative. I’ve also become more responsive; my clients and employees know they can depend on me.
- Where do you go for leadership advice? I am fortunate to have many entrepreneurs in my family that I am able to turn to for advice on leadership. My closest confidant is my father. I have always gone to him for advice when it comes to business as he has handled many delicate situations through the years and has experienced great success. We still touch base and collaborate several times a week.
- How do you motivate your employees? At Rose Pallet we want to have great morale and a collaborative working environment. It can be challenging to keep things fresh and exciting. But, throughout the year, we do fun activities at the office such as holiday-themed luncheons, contests, and other incentives. And, we also make time to volunteer together in the community. I think it keeps employees engaged and excited to come to work.
- What are some of Rose Pallet’s core values and why are they important? We have many core values, but the two which stand out to me are ‘be flexible and willing to change’ and ‘be a communicator.’ The world around us is changing and everyone needs to adapt. Technological change, for example, affects productivity, revenue, and the nature of our work. Communication and transparency are critical to running a successful business. We try to be as communicative and open with our customers as possible so everyone is dialed in to changes in market conditions or other factors affecting pallet supply and pricing.
- What would you tell women considering work in the pallet industry or other male-dominated field? I believe that if you work hard, no matter what field, it will pay off. I started in this industry 14 years ago never imagining that I would be where I am today. I worked hard and I hustled and I love what I do. Make sure going to work excites you and that you have a passion for your profession. I absolutely love pallet sales! Like anything, however, it can be frustrating. But, those days are few and far between. Stay dedicated and, as cliché as it sounds, your hard work will pay off.