ADDEV Materials

Interview with Joann GOMEZ: Logistics Manager

Name : Joann GOMEZ

Function : Logistics Manager at ANDPAK

Seniority, responsibilities and experience at ANDPAK (ADDEV Materials) : My career at Andpak began in 2010 as a temporary packaging technician. I worked on different production lines, gaining knowledge and experience in different types of packaging processes.

In 2012, I applied and was hired for an open position as a stock control clerk in the warehouse to become a full-time employee at Andpak. This is where my career in logistics began. I was in charge of organising and streamlining the warehouse's flow processes. I was then promoted to stock control manager. I eventually left the company to take up another opportunity, but after 6 months I was recruited again by Andpak as warehouse supervisor.

In 2023, thanks to my determination to constantly improve the processes between the warehouse and the production workshop and to organise the department as effectively as possible, I was promoted to Logistics Manager.
It was a big leap into a management role within the executive team, but with the support and confidence of my colleagues, I managed to take it on.

What studies have you done and why?

I had no experience of packaging or warehousing when I started working as a temp at Andpak. I have no formal training, but this job has saved me from a life I never want to return to. Andpak has given me what I need to be motivated and successful in what I do.

You're completely self-taught, so how did you manage to reach this level of responsibility within the company?

I'm rough around the edges, but I've learnt a lot over the years to become a good manager, capable of leading a supportive team. Being promoted to Logistics Manager gives me the opportunity to mentor other women who are or have been in the same situation as me. I want to be the kind of mentor that my mentors were for me.

Thanks to Derrik Smith's mentoring and the knowledge he gave me to succeed in my role in the warehouse, I feel I was prepared for my role as Logistics Manager. Linda Fedalizo-Hughes' mentoring and confidence in empowering me when I didn't think I could succeed in any of my roles at Andpak has been my greatest encouragement. Derrik, Linda and Matt Webb have guided me, supported me and pushed me to do things I didn't know I could do. I've had many one-to-one sessions with each of them to push me when I didn't think I could do the job and wanted to quit. I still have a lot to learn, but I know that with the support and confidence my management team has in me, I will develop and become the best logistics manager I can be.

I'm proud of the woman I've become thanks to Andpak. I am a better person in my professional and personal life. I see the world differently because people believed in me and gave me the opportunity to become a valuable team member and an accomplished leader who wants to be of service to other women. I still have a lot to learn, but I'm up for the challenge.

What are the strengths and difficulties you have encountered in your career?

The hardest part was moving into a management position with my peers. I had to learn to be more professional and to behave more like a leader than a friend. It was difficult to distinguish between leadership and friendship.

I encountered a few difficulties:
- Delegating work to others, I worked very well as an individual collaborator because I knew I could do a job and that it was done properly.
- Learn how to train my staff effectively
- Understand the company's overall situation and learn how operations work as a whole and how each department works.
- Getting to know people, in particular communicating with different personality types.
- The greatest difficulty I have had to overcome is and has been believing in myself and not doubting myself.

But I think I've also brought a lot of personal strengths to Andpak:

- I'm a team player
- I care about my job and the company, and I do what needs to be done, whatever it takes to make our business a success.
- I ask for help when I need it and I'm able to be transparent, open and honest with my mentors.

In your opinion, and based on your experience, have things changed for women in recent years and what difficulties remain (studies and companies)?

I see more opportunities and more doors opening for women in different types of roles. The positions that women hold today are positions for which, in the past, they would not have been considered. I think women reinforce each other, build each other up. There's nothing holding women back, we've had a woman vice-president of the United States and women at the head of companies who serve as role models to show other women that they can do anything they want.

What advice would you give to women who want to work in a profession like yours, but also to employers who are looking for industrial profiles?

Don't let anything or anyone stop you from pursuing your goals! Always know where you come from and use your experience to become better and pass it on to others.