Imagine a factory where out of 13 employees, 12 are female. From inventory control, assembling boxes and accessories to heavy lifting and shipping to places all over the world, imagine no more because that factory is in Brownsville and the women at Grant Products International can do it all.
“Our job sometimes is a little strenuous with the heat and everything, but this job is a message for the community, a message that women can also do these things,” Alejandra Mendoza, coordinator at the warehouse, said.
“We are not weak, as we have been portrayed in the past. We are strong, we are Latinas and sí se puede.”
The company mostly focuses on distributing steering wheels for automobiles such as Cadillac, Ford and Mercedes, but they also work on shipping other accessories. While 10 years ago the women were not the majority there, throughout the years the company has been evolving as more and more women apply for jobs.
Chief Operating Officer, Sandro Sanicola said he has visited several companies in the United States, Mexico and Europe and has never encountered a situation where the operation is almost completely run by women. He said it is a very demanding job, the shipping, the receiving, assembling and handling more than 200 customers.
“I have a very important respect. I think they have taught me a very important lesson that women are very capable, and they can achieve important things,” Sanicola said.
“I have to say, we have a very good relationship and I treat them the same way I treat a male colleague. We have very good and open communication.”
Martha Muñoz started as a customer service representative and eventually moved to become the warehouse manager. She said while it has been a challenge and there are some things that may be harder to accomplish as a woman, the employees are very productive at the warehouse because of one important thing-teamwork.
“We are united, we have that bond, we have that communication warehouse-office and it’s not like it’s separated. We get to do our work and accomplish our monthly and weekly goals all the time,” she said.
“I want to show that women can do the same work a man can do. Yes, it probably can be a little more difficult, a little more complicated, but as a team, it can be done. And I think we are showing that we can do it.”
Operations Manager Douglas Sloane said he has been in this business for more than 40 years and said employers have to be open to the opportunities that might come. He said there is no limitation in gender and if women can do the job, then welcome them.
“I personally feel that there’s more commitment to the job, even though the challenge is higher because you have your family, you have your children and at the same time you have the responsibility of a job, which is not only showing up at 8 a.m. and let the day go by, here you have to give results,” he said.
“And that’s what has happened here, we get satisfying results from the women we have involved in the different areas.”