HERStory | Jill Hanna

Master Production Scheduler, Metrie

My journey in manufacturing has been a very interesting one. It started about 25 years ago, when I moved up to Calgary having quit an old position in dental lab. At that time, Nortel’s manufacturing team was hiring. So, I kind of fell into the manufacturing industry.

When I first joined this industry, there was a good mix of women and men, so I did not have a hard time to get into it. There were lot of women there and it was easy for me to connect. This industry is not as male dominated anymore as it used to be. It’s a great place for women to be part of.

I have mainly worked in electronics manufacturing. I started my career at Nortel on the production floor and in a few years, I moved to GE in similar role. That’s where I got into a production scheduling role.

I have been with Metrie for just over 5 years. I started as a Production Scheduler in our Calgary plant and recently transitioned into a Master Scheduler role. The primary focus of my role is to load the mills appropriately, matching the overall demand with the capacity of the mills and communicating between the mills and their customers.

When I started in manufacturing the job itself was very new to me. I came from a different industry, so I wanted to prove myself to everyone. I did that by absorbing as much information as I could when I first started and focusing on doing my job well. I have gained many skills in manufacturing over the years through on the job training, fellow colleagues & peers, and mentoring from the leadership team.  I also supplemented my training with courses in supply chain planning to help me thrive in my role.

The most rewarding part of working in manufacturing for me has been the team I work with at Metrie. They have just been great and are always encouraging the team to voice their ideas and opinions to further improve the manufacturing processes and safety.  The leadership team also provides the support I need to progress in my career. All this, along with their focus on good onboarding and a welcoming team, helped me integrate faster into the company.

Now, I see that more and more manufacturing companies are looking to improve their processes to get better and faster in order to stay competitive in the market.  There is a lot of focus on continuous improvement through engineering changes and integrating technology into their processes.  For women looking for career options, the one thing I would tell them is – If being in manufacturing is your dream, then go for it, there is nothing stopping you!