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Carolina Tractor & Equipment (CTE), which operates Carolina CAT, LiftOne, and Pinnacle Cranes, recently established a group called Women LEAD that brings together their female employees and customers. LEAD stands for Link, Engage, Advance, and Diversify, and the group is taking great strides to make the heavy equipment distribution industry a more female-friendly space.

 

The need for a reinvigorated equipment workforce is just as prevalent in North Carolina as it is anywhere else in the U.S. and Canada, and that’s where the Women LEAD group comes in. The primary objective is to “cultivate a diverse and growing employee base by providing targeted opportunities to foster a supportive community,” explained Amanda Weisiger Cornelson, CTE’s field service coordinator. The group encourages involvement as a way to meet new people in the organization, participate in community outreach functions, gain access to career development events, and take part in various leadership opportunities. 

CTE operates over 25 locations throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia, and serves the following industries: agriculture, construction, data centers, financial services, forestry, government, health care, landfill, landscaping, manufacturing, on-highway trucking, paving, quarries and aggregates, and waste industries. So getting women from various locations, and their female customers, on the same page about their growing place in the industry is no easy feat. To date, the group has had two successful events. The first included a product training class with Hyster-Yale Group and a discussion on building your brand. 

LEAD Demo Day
The Women LEAD group had its second event in June, a Demo Day at a Martin Marietta quarry site in Midland, North Carolina. It’s hard not to get fired up about heavy equipment when standing next to massive earthmoving machines. Getting behind the controls only amplifies this excitement, regardless of gender.

Attendees of the Demo Day enjoyed equipment walk-arounds, in-machine stick time and informational guidance from one of Caterpillar’s product experts, Kristin Gaskill. Along with being a marketing manager  at Caterpillar, Gaskill heads up Caterpillar’s own female-forward initiatives as the co-chair for the Caterpillar Women in Leadership Conference. Having Gaskill at the Demo Day event was helpful on both informational and inspirational fronts. 

“We had an excellent turnout,” said Cornelson, “Roughly 75 women from CTE along with a few customers joined us, and a representative from Caterpillar who spoke to the women.”

 

For the seasoned machine aficionados attending the event, the draw was getting to see some of Caterpillar’s newest equipment in action. Here is some of the machinery that was on hand for Demo Day:

* 740 Ejector Truck
* Next Generation Series CAT Hex 336, 323, 320
* Building Construction Hex Products
* Next Gen 308, 307.5 and 302
* Models 305 and 303.5E2 Series
* Wheel Loaders 950 GC, 926, 908
* Next Gen Tractor Series D6 and Next Gen Motor Grader 120, plus K series D6 and N series
* New D3 series Compact Track Loaders 259 and 299, plus D2 series 259 and 289

What’s Next?
CTE’s Women LEAD group is an example of local grassroots efforts making a positive impact on a global challenge. The group is busy planning its next event, a Women in Leadership panel with customer and manufacturer guests.

 

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