One Woman’s Journey for 领导 Excellence in 制造业



On a January day, Sarah Dale pulled into the parking lot of the Milltown, N.J. box plant, where she served as general manager. She parked her car and walked into the building, expecting another routine day at the plant. As usual, Sarah checked the team’s days safe count on the welcome sign and greeted her team. When she sat down at her desk to review the day’s schedule, 她看到了一个意料之外的会议要求.

Two vice presidents of the company had called the meeting with her. Although Sarah had business with each of them, she was curious why both vice presidents were on the agenda.


When Sarah accepted the meeting invitation, she reflected. “In manufacturing, the saying used to go: ‘no news is good news,’”她说。. 但这是个好消息.”

Sarah had been selected for one of the most notable awards in the manufacturing industry: the Women MAKE Award. Bestowed by the 制造业 Institute, the 女性获奖 表彰科学领域的女性, 技术, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership within their companies.  


Sarah landed her first role with IP in Savannah, Ga. as a manufacturing excellence engineer in the pulp mill, part of the REACH engineering development program.

“I never imagined I would be working in manufacturing,”她说。. “I met an IP recruiter at a University of Florida college career fair and learned about the company’s 文化 专注于 环境管理. 在我的现场面试中 in Jackson, Miss., I learned more about the company’s commitment to career development and growth opportunities, and that I would be assigned meaningful work that would drive results for the mill. It was then I decided to establish my career with IP.”

从那以后,莎拉扮演了每一个角色, she has taken the opportunity to sharpen her skills, learning how to adapt her leadership for each situation. 这是她每天使用的技能, and one that has contributed to her reputation as a manager who leads with empathy and authenticity.


在她职业生涯的早期, 萨拉练习教科书式的领导能力, which includes explaining the “why” behind every task. “I remember my first team and their coach to me: ‘Sarah, we don’t want you to explain why again. Sometimes we just want to be told what to do,’” she recalled. It was then she learned the importance of situational leadership, and the positive impact a team can have when working together.

“You have to be genuine, and you must show up. You have to be fully present and committed in order to thoroughly understand the situation and your team’s needs to achieve success,“ 她解释.  


From her days focused on fiber cost models and digester controls in Savannah, GA, to her new role as plant general manager in Spotswood, NJ, Sarah has had opportunities to grow her experience in both the mills and box plants, 以及协作性, cross-functional roles that resulted in improved mill operating standards and continuous improvement outcomes for our 十大外围足彩网十大外围足彩网.  

In addition to the demanding roles she has had, Sarah has prioritized time for mentoring other women in manufacturing, both at IP and across the industry through TAPPI (Technical Association of the 纸浆 and 纸 Industry). 她也会腾出时间 社区参与. “At the box plant, everything we do supports our community,”她说。. “We’re a part of the community and must support the community and customers who support us.”


When she’s not leading teams and mentoring others, 莎拉喜欢旅行, 现场音乐和尝试新事物. “我在做 完全空着 在公园里, 在我努力之后, I’d enlisted the help of two complete strangers to finish my painting,”她说。, adding: “Life will reveal its beauty and connectedness if you get outside of your comfort zone and engage. 生活是一种展望. Our time here is short, and we must fully embrace the experience and be thankful for each day.”


当被问及是什么女人激励了莎拉, 她给玛丽·居里起名, 还有她的母亲和祖母.  

“They were told they couldn’t pursue non-traditional roles for women. 他们教会了我如何做到无情.”  

2024年4月18日,莎拉参加了 女性获奖 在华盛顿特区.C., where she joins 130 women leaders and rising female stars in manufacturing. 在一起, 他们将庆祝所有从事科学研究的女性, 技术, engineering and production roles who are paving the way for other women.

“I was honored to be selected for the Women MAKE Award,” Sarah said. “组织需要时间, 哪些是短缺的, 考虑让我获得这个重要的奖项, 是一个宝藏, 但后来, for an external group to review my nomination alongside impressive leaders and recognize my work — I am honored.”

As Sarah looks to her future in manufacturing at IP, she’s excited about gaining new and varied experiences and holding the torch for other women.  

See what International 纸 could have in store for your career.

I never imagined I would be working in manufacturing .... 在我的现场面试中, I learned more about the company’s commitment to career development and growth opportunities, and that I would be assigned meaningful work that would drive results for the mill. It was then I decided to establish my career with IP.