DeltaTrak is excited to honor women from the Poultry industry, as our celebration of Women’s History Month continues. As Production Manager for a poultry company in Mississippi, Pamela H. is a wonderful example of a woman who has ambitious goals and is not afraid to pursue them. She knows it can sometimes be challenging for women in the workplace, but says, “You have to get up every day and know what your goals are and not let misconceptions negatively affect you or the goal that you have of advancing in your career.” With an attitude like that, Pamela will continue to advance in her career, and inspire others to do the same.
Question: What do you do exactly?
Pamela: I oversee about 250 employees in a poultry processing plant. I just moved from a Quality Assurance manager position. I’ve been working in this industry for about five years.
Question: Why did you move from the QA position?
Pamela: It was an advancement in (my) career. My goal is to move up in the company so that (Production Manager) was my next step.
Question: Why did you choose this industry?
Pamela: It was actually new to me. I had wanted something new. I moved out of restaurant management and then came into this (industry) as a QA technician. I advanced to supervisor and then (the company) moved me out of state to take over a position with their sister company.
Question: What do you think are the biggest challenges in your industry today?
Pamela: I would say turnover rates. Training people and then having competition that may pay more or (offer) different work that someone may be interested in. At my plant we actually hand-size, so we use knives to cut chicken. Other (companies) have easier ways to (cut chicken) than actually hand-sizing. So I would say turnover rate is probably the biggest challenge, as well as hiring new employees.
Also, everything is becoming technology-based, and eliminating positions for people. It’s important to keep jobs and opportunities for people in the community to help families. Something that can be done by hand is changed to a machine and then we eliminate positions.
Question: How have DeltaTrak products helped you to manage the cold chain?
Pamela: They actually help a lot. There’s a couple of different ways. Throughout the process (we) have to make sure we’re following federal regulations. Our biggest federal regulation is keeping our product within (the proper) temperature range so it’s not dangerous for anyone who eats it or anyone we supply it to. The thermometer that I purchase from DeltaTrak is used throughout our process. All day, every day, every hour on the hour. It helps us make sure our product is within range. With the temp recorders that we purchase from DeltaTrak, we make sure that our product stays (at the right) temperature all the way through the process to the customer. On the truck, (the temperature recorder) helps us to ensure that the trucking company is not hurting our product.
Question: The International Women’s Day theme for 2021 is #ChooseToChallenge, which highlights the importance of challenging biases and misconceptions in the interest of creating a more inclusive and gender-equal world. What biases and/or misconceptions do you see in the workplace?
Pamela: I think one of society’s misconceptions is that a woman can’t hold an upper management role, the same way a man can, because we care, we have a heart and we’re not strong enough to face the challenges of dealing with a lot of employees or customers.
Question: What do you think is the biggest issue facing women professionals today?
Pamela: I think the biggest issue is learning how to deal with those who have misconceptions (about women) and not letting it negatively affect you. Not allowing your feelings or emotions to get to you so you stop where you are and you don’t try to achieve something further. You have to keep a good mindset.
Are you ready to take on the world after reading about Pamela? Be sure to check out part two of our “Women in Poultry” celebration for another inspiring conversation.