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Pushing boundaries in the irrigation industry

November 20, 2020 -  By and
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Meg Mason, sr. director of marketing, Hydro Point Data Systems, kicks off the Irrigation Association's Women in Irrigation event. (Screenshot: LM Staff)

Meg Mason, senior director of marketing with Hydro Point Data Systems, kicks off the Irrigation Association’s Women in Irrigation event. (Screenshot: LM Staff)

For the Irrigation Association’s first virtual Women in Irrigation conference, more than 80 women hailing from the U.S., Canada, Spain and Portugal participated. Of those 80-plus women, more than 50 percent had one to five years of experience in the irrigation industry.

“I’ve seen more and more women come into the industry,” said speaker Denise Mullikin, vice president of domestic sales, for Hunter Industries, who boasts 30 years of experience in the irrigation industry. “My interaction with women in the industry has helped me become who I am and has helped fill my cup. We need to do a whole lot more. I think our industry is better with women in it.”

Mullikin went on to discuss how women can be confident communicators by controlling the stories they tell themselves, raising their hands for opportunities and engaging in crucial conversations about promotions and more.

Meg Mason, senior director of marketing for HydroPoint Data Systems, led a talk titled, “Resiliency as Women in Irrigation: What 2020 Has Taught Us.”

“As women dealing with everything this year, we need to build resiliency and tackle everything thrown our way, whether it’s business, family, health,” she said.

She emphasized that the building blocks for being resilient include:

  1. Recognize change is constant;
  2. Cultivate self-awareness;
  3. Effective communication;
  4. Practice empathy; and
  5. Seek happiness.
Carol Colein, executive director, American Society of Irrigation Consultants, shares a few tips during @irrigationassoc 's #WomenInIrrigation: - Take chances - Don't be afraid of failure - Networking and get involved in industry organizations (Screencap: LM Staff)

Carol Colein, executive director, American Society of Irrigation Consultants, shares a few tips during the Women in Irrigation event: take chances, don’t be afraid of failure and get involved in industry organizations. (Screencap: LM Staff)

Pushing boundaries

In a presentation on pushing boundaries, panelists shared their experiences navigating the irrigation industry as women. Carol Colein, executive director with the American Society of Irrigation Consultants joined Kristen Hillger, director of operations with Eco-Drip Irrigation; Jaclyn Ishimaru-Gachina, CEO of Gachina Landscape Management; and Katie Powell, president of Munro Cos.

Powell said she’s learned that how you spend your time reflects your priorities. She has chosen to show up for her family and the causes she cares about.

“If you want to make a difference, if you want to drive change, you have to show up,” she says.

Colein was a trailblazer in the industry. Few women were involved when she embarked on her career. Networking helped advance her career. She shared advice given by Austin Miller, her mentor in the industry.

“You can never change something from the outside,” he told her. “You can only change it on the inside.”

This article is tagged with , and posted in Irrigation+Water Management
Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's associate editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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