Saturday, 9 June 2007

Correcting the Gender Imbalance

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As an operations manager and client of several manufacturers in the GTA and Hamilton area I had the opportunity to observe changes in the gender imbalance in the technical sales field.

In the process of preparing a bid for heating upgrades for a high-rise residential building in Oakville, Ont., I met with five suppliers whom we had not dealt with before. The sales staff were quite efficient in informing me of my options and demonstrated the heating components they carried.

When I started my search for the product upgrades, I dealt with only one woman out of five representatives from all the companies contacted. As I kept working with the five vendors for the quotations, it came to my attention that a male sales representative was replaced by a female. It struck me somewhat surprisingly, in a positive way, that in other projects as well and with other vendors that women were replacing the male selling staff.

It really shouldn’t have been so surprising because in actuality the gender of the staff made no difference because the assistance I needed can be equally provided for by both men and women. They are both capable of finding and relaying the correct technical information, pinpointing the pros and cons of the deal and they both would guarantee reliable service and quality of their products. But I love the idea of more women in technical sales for manufacturing because there are more people like me - female customers doing technical work and the number of women in the industry is increasing. It just makes sense that they should also work in the supply chain too.
Corina Popescu is the President and CEO of Westown Electronics Co., a commercial supplier of heating and energy control parts for high-rise buildings in the South-West of Toronto and Hamilton area. She can be reached at or 905-624-8311 (toll free 1-888-224-8311)and through

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