Mar. 29, 2024

Honoring Inspirational Female Leaders at Uponor

by Alex Gross

Women’s History Month holds significant importance as it provides a platform for acknowledging and celebrating the remarkable contributions, achievements, and challenges of women throughout history. This includes recognizing their accomplishments in various domains, such as politics, science, literature, arts, sports, and activism. The month serves as a vital opportunity to educate about the often-overlooked roles and experiences of women in shaping history and society. By highlighting their achievements and struggles, it fosters awareness about gender equality issues and the ongoing fight for women’s rights.

Through spotlighting the achievements of women from diverse backgrounds, Women’s History Month can inspire and empower individuals, especially women and girls, to pursue their aspirations, challenge stereotypes, and break barriers. It underscores the significance of representation, encouraging women to take pride in their identities and capabilities.

Moreover, Women’s History Month prompts reflection on the progress made in advancing gender equality and the work that remains to be done. It reminds us of persisting issues such as gender discrimination, violence against women, unequal opportunities, and systemic barriers, urging continued efforts toward creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

Overall, Women’s History Month plays a crucial role in promoting gender equality, preserving women’s legacies, and fostering a more inclusive understanding of history and society. At Uponor, we extend gratitude to all our female employees companywide for their invaluable contributions. Below, we highlight a few exciting milestones. However, with so many amazing employees, experiences, and achievements to celebrate, the list could be much longer.

Stephanie Alles, director of Demand Generation Marketing at Uponor, was honored as part of the Generation PHCP Class of 2023 by PHCP Pros. This award recognizes new trailblazers in plumbing, heating, cooling, and piping. Stephanie is dedicated to connecting with skilled tradespeople in the field, showcasing case study successes on @UponorNA’s TikTok, and driving demand generation and brand loyalty.

With a background in English, Stephanie entered the manufacturing world unexpectedly during the Great Recession, starting her journey at Eaton Corp. before joining the PHCP industry at Daikin Applied, and eventually Uponor. She continues to push boundaries in PHCP, leveraging her expertise to propel the industry forward.

Stephanie expressed gratitude for the mentorship she received from Kate Olinger, director, Industry Relations and Regulatory Affairs, upon joining Uponor and emphasizes the importance of encouraging young talent to consider manufacturing and PHCP as viable career paths. She has welcomed three former interns to the Demand Generation Marketing team, creating an empowering environment for these young professionals to succeed. She is changing the narrative, making PHCP and manufacturing companies one of the “cool” places to work for young professionals.

Stephanie also addresses the common misconception that women do not work in PHCP and manufacturing, highlighting the numerous amazing women she has encountered throughout her career in marketing, engineering, the trades, sales, and publishing. While women are still the minority, she remains empowered because the number of fiercely smart, driven, game-changing women she has met could fill an entire page!

Kate Olinger (mentioned earlier) was recently recognized as one of the 10 Most Influential Women in the Plumbing Industry by Plumbing and Mechanical Magazine. A United States Air Force Veteran with a degree in Chemical Engineering, Kate stumbled upon the plumbing industry by chance but stayed due to its commitment to providing clean water and comfortable heating to people. She finds fulfillment in collaborating with passionate individuals across the industry and innovating solutions that positively impact communities.

She acknowledges the challenges women face in entering the plumbing industry, particularly regarding physical demands. She advocates for the creation of innovative solutions by manufacturers to reduce strain on workers' bodies, making the industry more inclusive and sustainable for all. She sees an opportunity to promote change by exposing girls to opportunities in the trades and engaging with schools and community colleges to recruit more women.

Kate actively encourages women to pursue roles in plumbing and manufacturing, emphasizing that one should not dismiss these industries. She highlights the diverse range of skills and talents required to ensure the success of a manufacturer, asserting that women are more than capable of filling these roles.

Her passion for driving positive change within the plumbing industry reflects the dedication and commitment of women striving to make a difference in the world of plumbing and manufacturing.

Another exemplary woman, Erica Amevo, vice president of Human Resources, recently received recognition as one of the 2024 Notable Women in Manufacturing by Twin Cities Business magazine. Bringing a wealth of expertise in HR leadership, Erica has consistently formulated innovative strategies to bolster the workforce of Uponor North America. Since assuming the role of vice president of Human Resources in December 2022, Amevo has played a pivotal role within the Uponor Senior Management Committee and its global HR leadership team, based in Finland.

Considering the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Amevo spearheaded the development of a "Flexible First" work model aimed at enhancing hiring procedures and staff retention. Moreover, she introduced the President’s Excellence Award to recognize the exceptional performance of employees, all while driving initiatives to foster Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) through structured training sessions and events. Additionally, Amevo led projects on compensation analysis to ensure competitiveness across both salaried and hourly employee segments.

According to Uponor Corporate Communications Manager Courtney Hieb, the characteristics that truly distinguish Erica are her empathetic leadership style and her talent for nurturing a collaborative team environment that drives success.

Erica is a widely known and well-respected leader at Uponor. Her ability to empathize with others while fostering a team-oriented atmosphere that fuels achievement is invaluable. She embodies resilience, adeptly navigating challenges and transforming obstacles into opportunities for development, all while fostering a cooperative environment that capitalizes on the diverse strengths of the team. She has effortlessly earned the trust and respect of peers due to her ethical conduct and integrity.