Women in Manufacturing: Modern Day Pioneer

Michelle MachenOur Stories, Employee Profiles, Small Packaging

Women are increasingly finding roles in male dominated manufacturing sectors where they can make a living, grow successfully in their careers, and have a positive impact on the global economy. Mauser Packaging Solutions is proud to have women making a difference at all levels of our company.  As part of our recognition of veterans throughout the month of November, today's Manufacturing at Mauser: Women in Manufacturing profile features someone who is making a difference as both a woman and a veteran. 

Meet Mari Lucas

Sturtevant, Wis., U.S.A., Small Packaging

A love of aviation and an interest in how things work and are manufactured led Mari Lucas, Small Packaging Plant Manager, to begin her career as a Naval Aircraft Engine Mechanic. When Mari joined the Navy, women were not allowed on Aircraft Carriers and it was very uncommon for women to be in the mechanics field. Despite the gender gap, Lucas became one of the first women to join of a Shipboard F-14 Squadron.


Mari Lucas, Plant Manager
Sturtevant, Wis., U.S.A., Small Packaging
2 Months with Mauser

Following 6 years of service in the Navy, Lucas continued pursing her interest in how things are manufactured through education in drafting and design. Upon graduation, and after a few years in the workforce, Lucas acquired a position at a facility manufacturing remote handling equipment for the nuclear and pharmaceutical industries. It was there that Lucas moved into her first management role and discovered a new passion. “Managing the company’s quality program gave me a much broader view of the organization. I started to learn the value of LEAN initiatives and continuous improvement. This became my new passion – the ability to work with others on improvements that made a difference for individuals as well as for the company.”

Lucas attributes her success to the many mentors she has had throughout her life as well as her willingness to listen and learn from others. “Mentors can be found in every direction, not necessarily just your managers, but your co-workers, people you know in your daily life, and sometimes just through chance encounters. There are lessons to be learned if you take the time to listen.”

"If a young woman has an interest in learning about how things work, making something, or making a difference for someone, then manufacturing is a great way to go. There may be roadblocks, I certainly hit a few in my career, but you just have to be creative and find ways to get around them or sometimes even barrel through them if you have to."

Early in her career, Lucas was aided by a female Master Chief* who provided encouragement and validation despite the restrictions females in the Navy faced at the time. Later, Lucas worked with a Vice President of Operations who recognized her potential. The leader was influential in helping build the confidence needed to take on additional leadership responsibility and eventually attain the Plant Manager position she currently holds with Mauser Packaging Solutions.

“In addition to working alongside some inspirational leaders, I’ve been able to work on some exciting projects. Over the course of my career, I have been involved in developing a product that is essential in the cleanup of nuclear waste, reducing manufacturing footprints to make room for new business, and purchasing multi-millions of dollars of equipment. And now, I’m leading a plant that provides a product that millions of people use on a daily basis, The roles I have had in manufacturing have helped me to see what is behind the products that keep our modern world moving forward.”

*Master Chief petty officer is the highest, enlisted rate in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, just above senior chief petty officer. Master Chiefs constitute the top 1.25% of the enlisted members of the maritime forces.

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