Liz Akeroyd and Kristen Graham achieve leadership responsibilities in project and sales management
Kinetics Noise Control has encouraged women to take on responsible and challenging tasks. Here are profiles of two successful employees.
Liz Akeroyd has completed her BA Honors at University of Guelph and created a career that has spanned the globe, taking her from Saint John, N.B. to South Korea and Western Australia. Having traveled extensively to many exciting regions, she has now settled in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and works as project manager, industrial and heavy industrial markets at Kinetics Noise Control Canada.
Over her seven-year career, Akeroyd has worked on projects in nuclear energy, mining and oil and gas whose values reached up to $415 million. She has gained experience in all areas of project controls and project management and has developed these skills in part through courses she has undertaken but says she owes “most of my project management knowledge from working alongside great leaders in the field” who were also mentors and encouraged her to evolve her skills.
She says some of the mentors have been women “who are presently working on multiple projects within the nuclear and oil and gas communities. What I have loved about these women is seeing their strong, yet fun and outgoing personalities on the job.”
In her current role, Akeroyd says she can be managing up to 10 or more projects at a time, taking the milestones from quote, to kick-off, to completion, and with schedules that may range from a few months to several years.
“I love that no two projects are alike,” she said. “I have to continually assess every project individually and make sure everything will execute smoothly. I really like going on to site, seeing the problem, and ensuring that the solution provided by Kinetics is executed on time and on budget.”
She says she also enjoys the variety of scope of work, the dynamics of site visits, and the ability to work with some of the best minds in the construction industry.
She says she has never felt gender has been a challenge in her work but says she does make sure she stays fit and strong to keep up with or ahead of the men on the job.
“I believe my project management knowledge collected worldwide has really had an impact on how I work today. I have brought back some great tools from working overseas that I have not yet encountered here. I have been able to share this knowledge with Kinetics.”
Akeroyd says she believes the industry overall wants to support the growth and development of women in the field. She says she has many female friends who are engineers, welders and project managers and they all love their job.
“I do find you have to have the personality fit to work in construction. I am a straight-to-the-point type of person with the ability to laugh off a lot of stress. I am a team player but have a type-A personality, so I have no problem stepping up to the plate and taking the lead when required.”
As a single mother to a three-year old boy, Akeroyd says she has been fortunate with Kinetics, who has been accommodating to her situation, and allows some flexibility within her work week. She says she has a lot of autonomy in her current role. “That being said, I always ensure I deliver projects on time and on budget. I could see this being a difficult situation for certain mothers of young children, where the employer is not as supportive.”
She says she would recommend women considering a similar career to not “be afraid to get out, ask questions, and get your hands dirty. I have advanced my career by being willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.”
Kristen Graham combines a degree in mechanical systems engineering from Conestoga College with work experience in construction and manufacturing in her current role as Canadian commercial sales manager for Kinetics Noise Control.
She says her family has always supported her education and career interests, and has always personally been interested in manufacturing, which led to her current role.
She says she has seen an increase in the number of women she works with daily. She enjoys working with women within Kinetics, and also in the rep firms she works with. “I find having both men and women working on a team allows for different perspectives.”
Graham says she enjoys the challenge of learning about acoustics and construction and building upon and sharing that knowledge. She enjoys building a relationship with her customers and working as part of a larger team internally and externally to provide product and solutions.
“This is a great career for women and an opportunity to learn about a small market within a large industry.”
She says she has had the opportunity to meet people from across North America from different organizations providing a variety of services.
She suggests women take the opportunity to learn as much as they can, from everyone they meet – and follows her own advice.
“Still being new to the industry I am trying to learn as much as I can and apply what I’ve learned to improve. I also like to be aware of the needs of the industry through working with other professionals to determine and adapt my sales strategy. There are a lot of people who have worked in the industry for a long time and have a great deal of experience they can pass on.”
About Kinetics Noise Control
Kinetics Noise Control has extensive experience in designing and manufacturing products to control sound and vibration. Established in 1958 as engineers focusing on sound and vibration control, the company now produces the industry’s largest selection of innovative products to address vibration and noise control, room acoustics, and seismic restraint concerns for almost any building application.
For more information visit http://www.kineticsnoise.com/resources/about.html.