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Women in Manufacturing Share Career Journeys, Goals

Categories: Our Company
Description: Two women in manufacturing are featured in this story and both are pictured side by side in this image, against a multicolored background that includes a mosaic of modern art-style women.

As we celebrate both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Domtar honors women in manufacturing, in both our industry and our company. 

While women make up more than half of the workforce in the United States, according to recent U.S. Census data, women in manufacturing account for only about 30 percent of the millions of people working in manufacturing. 

Women at Domtar and across the Paper Excellence Group are playing ever larger roles in our company’s success. We celebrate their advancement during Women’s History Month and continue to support career opportunities for women with professional development, mentoring and new business resource groups that will launch soon. 

Hear from two of our colleagues about their career journeys, inspirations and goals for the future. 

Isabelle Harrison

To help her grow from production planner to director of product management, Isabelle Harrison leveraged her strong work ethic, a supportive network of colleagues and Domtar’s development resources. 

“When I joined the inside sales team 15 years ago,” she says,” I didn’t have a specific career goal, but I knew I wanted to advance. I’ve always been someone who wants to keep learning, and Domtar has been the perfect environment for me.” 

Harrison is now director of product management for pulp, paper and packaging, having learned many aspects of the business during her time working on the commercial side.  

“I’ve also taken advantage of Domtar’s online learning platform and completed a leadership development program. Now I’m working on my MBA, and Domtar is helping to defray some of the tuition costs. I’m excited for the next chapter,” she says. 

Tamara Sillars

On the manufacturing side of our business, many more women are working on the front lines at our mills or in the forests. They bring new perspectives and ways of problem solving to roles that have historically been held mostly by men. 

Tamara Sillars is a raw material coordinator for the biomass cogeneration facility at our Rothschild Mill in Wisconsin. She grew up on a farm and continued to have an interest in agriculture. She says her role in the forest products industry and sustainable energy fits her well. 

Beyond her day-to-day work, Sillars contributes to the mill in a variety of ways, including participating in her department safety team, the Safety Leadership Group, Site Security, United Way campaign and more.  

“I would recommend the manufacturing industry to everyone, including women,” she says. “We all have different strengths, and often they complement each other. Everyone, including women, are capable if they put their mind to it. We must show young ladies – most importantly, our daughters – in our lives that we are capable.” 

Supporting Women in Manufacturing 

Celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month is just the beginning. At Domtar and in the Paper Excellence Group, we’re supporting women’s futures in our company and industry.  

We support Girls, Inc. in Hawesville, Kentucky, as well as the Girls Who Print initiative for International Women’s Day. 

Our sister company Paper Excellence Canada celebrated International Day of Women in Science last month and continues to encourage and enhance girls’ aspirations and women’s careers. 

Hear from other women in manufacturing in their own words.