Women In The Industry – Angela Miu
The steel industry has been a male-dominated industry for years and continues to be one in certain sectors, even today. The business is poised for a change, as more women begin to enter this and other fields of work that were previously closed off. Several women have paved the way, others are continuing to follow suit, including Angela Miu. Angela is the Vice President of Tax and Associate General Counsel Finance at Zekelman Industries in Chicago, IL.
We had the opportunity to meet and talk with Angela who has some amazing insight and advice for women who are interested in a career in the steel industry.
How did you know you wanted to work in this industry? What lead you to this career?
My grandfather was an architect during my childhood and he often took me to his construction sites. I got to see the foundation being laid and a building being erected to completion. I’ve always wanted to join a company that supported elements of the construction industry, and more importantly, the foundation of our community and its people. Zekelman Industries plays a strong role in all of the above; I am so proud to be a part of the team.
What is it like to be a woman in a male dominated industry?
This may have traditionally been labeled as a male-dominated industry, but I feel no different amongst my male colleagues. I strongly believe that any person who has a passion for what he or she does can make a success of their career. Gender should not be a factor.
What does your daily routine look like?
My day always starts off with coffee, without fail. A typical day involves responding to emails from the Zekelman finance and business teams, working on projects, and attending meetings / conference calls. I’m not an early-riser so I tend to stay later in the office where I can focus on technical matters and written deliverables. Whenever possible, I also try to squeeze in a work-out session at the gym in our building to mix things up!
Do you think being a woman in this industry makes the career path more difficult? Less difficult?
It should be irrelevant. I believe in making my own path and having a strong, but balanced will. Fortunately, Zekelman Industries does not place an emphasis on gender and believes in the principles of appreciating talent. Our organization equips everyone with opportunities, while holding them accountable.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced being a woman in the steel manufacturing industry?
I was a consultant before joining Zekelman. When I first started, I led a single-person team without direct experience working in the steel/manufacturing industry. I was totally inspired when I got to meet the business leaders and tour the different manufacturing plants. Thanks to everyone being so welcoming and open to my questions (maybe a few too many!), I never felt that I was on my own.
I’m convinced that determination and a strong work ethic will earn you respect amongst your peers. The stigma that the steel industry is a tough place for women is a total myth!
What has been the best thing about being a woman in this industry?
Delivering results and having fun doing it ????
What is something you are most proud of that others in your position haven’t achieved?
I believe with hard work and determination, every person (male or female ) can achieve what they set out to accomplish. I’m specifically thankful for being included in business considerations and being able to build my immediate team, comprising of strong individuals who always strive to deliver exceptional results.
What advice do you have for younger generations and young women who aspire to have a career whether in sales or other fields in this industry?
Just go out there and get it – don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, because of your gender. I currently have an all-female team; and I am very proud of them. My advice to our younger generation is to let your talent, hard work and dedication do the talking!
Anything else you would like to add?
I feel very privileged to have the support and inspiration from the Zekelman leadership team. I also get to work with some amazing strong female team members – Linda Thomson, Kerry McGuigan, Carolyn Harvey, and Jeanine Zoberis (from my own team) – just to name a few. I just want to take this opportunity to thank them for all that they do as well.