This pair epitomizes an excellent example of a mentor and mentee relationship. They are the ‘ying to each other’s yang’ and, although complete opposites, they work so well together.
Tauhira Ali, Construction Technology Group Manager for MILWAUKEE TOOL, took on her mentee in January 2020. Madelyn Conway, Project Engineer for BMWC Constructors, Inc. out of Indiana was hesitant about the program at first, but so thankful she got involved.
After attending the 2019 WiMI Conference, Madelyn thought to herself, “If I don’t do this, then I know I’ll hear about other’s successes and think to myself that I should have done it”. Kori Gormley-Huppert, WiMI committee chair, initially took Madelyn under her wing until she was paired with Tauhira Ali, providing Madelyn with a second go-to person in the industry. Graduating from Purdue University in May 2020, Madelyn is only six months into her job and the industry. This is one reason why Tauhira has played such an important role in Madelyn’s personal and professional development.
Tauhira Ali has been in the industry and with MILWAUKEE TOOL for eight years. Tauhira explains, “Getting into a mentor program will help you grow in your own perspective, relationships and provide so many valuable things that will come out of it, all while sharing the benefit of growth with someone else”. Although COVID-19 happened shortly after they were paired, these two have formed a friendship and a strategy to their communication.
Tauhira and Madelyn have one or two calls per month but text weekly. Whether they are discussing exciting news, updates, assignments or strategizing on how to be better people, Tauhira always leaves Madelyn with setting a goal. “Madelyn has the ability to be more intentional on where she needs to focus her energy, as she is always planning for the next thing, taking too much on at once”, Tauhira explains. Madelyn agrees, saying, “Tauhira has taught me to slow down, reminding me to be proud of where I am now and live for today.” Madelyn added that Tauhira has taught her to take on a project, set the goal and finish it!
It’s advice like this that Madelyn is proud of as she starts off in this industry, as well as being a WiMI mentee. When asked if they would like to continue their initial commitment with one another, they both said “Absolutely, we are friends now and if we stopped, we would have so much untold”. They bring value to one another’s lives and it is a bonus that they can relate from a female perspective.
When asked about a most memorable moment in this industry, Tauhira replied “Oh gosh, there are so many. This is impactful and impactful is watching so many other women join the industry”. She went on explaining “I was the only female in the early development product department when I started. When I moved roles, there were 15 women in that department. That is impactful”.
Both Tauhira and Madelyn recommend the WiMI Mentor/Mentee program to females in the industry, even during this pandemic. They can be sounding boards for one another even from afar. “It’s something that we all need and it’s an easy resource to get in touch with others,” Madelyn commented, “It’s powerful because it’s given us joy to be connected, even in different phases of our lives and from different states”.
The ladies are both interested in participating in a virtual mentee and mentor roundtable discussion with groups of mentees and groups of mentors. This would provide an opportunity to virtually connect with like people, share questions and benefits they have received from their mentor/mentee, discuss differences they have shared, and be able to connect with more people.
This virtual world for a mentor/mentee program offers a great sense of community and provides a cohort that is greater than one realizes. The idea of not having women in this industry is becoming less common and it’s because of women like Tauhira and Madelyn, that are continuously working toward the next step!
For more information visit the Women in the Mechanical Industry Initiative Page.