The following excerpt is taking from the Boating Industry article 2021 Women Making Waves, originally posted on June 23, 2021. You can read the full article at https://boatingindustry.com/features/2021/06/23/2021-women-making-waves/.
Interview with Becky Pausha, Production Manager at Mercury Racing:
Education: Associates – Mechanical Design and Bachelors – Operations Management
Years in the marine industry: 24 years
Other companies you have worked for in the marine industry and titles you held within those companies:
I started my career at Mercury Marine once I graduated with my Associates degree in Mechanical Design and later continued my education with a Bachelors degree is in Operations Management, so I am grateful that I have been able to use my education in various roles here. In my 24 years with the company, I have held various positions including: Die Designer (castings), Lean Six Sigma Blackbelt, Quality Engineer, Parts & Accessories Technical Service Manager, and most recently Mercury Racing Manufacturing Production Manager.
What first drew you to the marine industry?
I have always had an interest in boating and fishing. I was inspired to work at Mercury because my dad worked here for 42 years. Fond du Lac is my hometown, so it’s special to me that I am able to have such a meaningful career at a company that is so close to home.
What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned working in the marine industry?
The biggest lesson I have learned is that you cannot be afraid to ask questions. That is the advice I give to all of our staff. At Mercury Racing, we try to build up a culture where everyone feels comfortable asking questions. Very often, you may find you are not the only one wondering. Having such open communication allows us to be a stronger team.
If you had to choose one memorable achievement in the marine industry, what would it be and why?
I take great pride in the fact that I have had a long and rewarding career at Mercury Marine. Because I started here very young, I felt I did not know as much as others. But having an open mind and really focusing on listening to people has allowed me to grow into a confident leader. I have a passion for helping others grow in their roles and grow their career paths. I hope that I have made a positive impact on the organization in that way. And of course, I am incredibly honored to be nominated for Women Making Waves, it is an achievement to be proud of!
Was it difficult to navigate a career in this industry? Why or why not?
A career in manufacturing as a woman is not always easy, especially starting out in a casting facility with very tenured employees. However, I have worked hard to learn this business and always have respect for the team. Once I had settled into my role, and we began to work together the experience became fun. I have learned to just be confident in my knowledge and take the time to listen to others.
How do you hope to inspire other women in the marine industry?
I hope I am able to demonstrate that women can pursue any career that interests them, regardless of the field or discipline. Don’t let others discourage you from pursuing your passion.
What advice do you have for women starting their careers in the marine industry?
My best advice is to be strong and confident in what you know. Do not be afraid to accept help or constructive criticism.
What is your favorite place to go boating?
I am fortunate to live next to Lake Winnebago, the largest inland lake in Wisconsin. It’s fun to explore other areas, but Winnebago is my home.