GIW is proud to recognize the incredible contributions of all of our team members. In honor of Women’s History Month, we sat down with Mollie Timmerman, business development manager for GIW in the oil sands. During our discussion, Mollie shared how she is making an impact at GIW, the power of diversity to drive success, and advice for younger women who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering or mining.
How are you making an impact through your current position at GIW?
MT: I’m the business development manager for GIW in the oil sands. Whenever there’s an opportunity to put a new slurry pump into the oil sands, my primary job is to make sure it’s a GIW pump that goes into service versus a competitor’s pump.
In terms of making an impact, it boils down to getting results, which happens in two ways:
- Getting the pump sale
- Building relationships
Slurry pumping and mining is a service-driven business. The equipment that we put into the field could be in operation for 20 to 30 years, so it’s important that we stand by our pumps and offer support throughout the lifetime of those products.
We don’t just sell pumps, though; we provide solutions. Building customer rapport and developing trust-based, long-standing relationships with them establishes our credibility. This is absolutely essential to being successful in our business. It drives sustainability, which in turn creates longevity.
Creating strong partnerships with our customers is in our DNA as a company. It’s a core value.
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
MT: Women’s History Month is a great time to celebrate women trailblazers and pioneers who paved the way for women like me, my colleagues, and future generations to have the opportunities that we have today.
I love airplanes and aviation, so I find Amelia Earhart fascinating. This woman in the 1920s and 1930s not only flew an airplane but also was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic, and then attempted to circumnavigate the globe ... it’s huge! What grit, gumption, and bravery it must have taken her to set out to achieve those amazing feats. It’s truly groundbreaking and I think it shows that women’s opportunities are truly limitless.
Being a role model is vital. We need to show other women that there are so many possibilities in this field. Certainly, my day-to-day job is very important to me, but I’m also an aunt to two young girls, ages 6 and 8. It’s incredibly important to me to be an excellent role model for these girls. As they grow and mature and begin to think for themselves, I want to make sure that I’m somebody they can look up to and be proud of. I want to show them that they can do something different and be successful, like I have been.
I generally don’t think about my gender, or about being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field. To me, it’s about doing what I enjoy and getting results. I rarely pause to reflect on it unless someone asks me about it or brings it up in conversation.
How would you describe strength in diversity?
MT: I like to say that variety is the spice of life. People are a company’s greatest asset. Working with people from various backgrounds and cultures brings to the table different perspectives, fresh ideas, and new approaches to solving problems. We might not always see eye to eye on things, and that’s OK. Part of working with a diverse team is learning that you can respectfully disagree and maintain positive relationships with your colleagues.
The mining industry is incredibly diverse. In fact, on a regular basis, I’m working with men and women from six continents. Regardless of who I am working with, I approach my work in the same way — when someone has a need or question about GIW or a slurry pump, I want to make sure that we respond promptly and with detailed information. Our goal is to make our customers look good in front of their peers and superiors; this encourages them to do business with us again and again.
What advice would you give a young female professional seeking to enter engineering or the mining field?
MT: Go for it!
Having a technical or engineering background sets you up for success. There are so many different career paths that you can choose. The world is always going to need critical thinkers, innovators, and problem solvers.
Say yes to risk. Seek out and ask for opportunities that will help you achieve your career goals. Accept that it’s OK to make mistakes — use these as learning experiences and move forward. Don’t be afraid to make your voice heard. Rock the boat: Strong women make waves.
There will be challenges along the way. Remember that challenges build character. How you react to those challenges and act going forward will set you apart as a professional.
About Mollie Timmerman
Mollie Timmerman is the business development manager for GIW (a KSB company) in the oil sands. Originally from Canisteo, New York, she resides in Edgefield, South Carolina, with her husband and five dogs. With 20 years in the engineering field, Timmerman has served 12 of those years with GIW traveling regularly to Alberta, Canada, to work with customers. Timmerman led the sales initiative for the TBC-92 hydrotransport slurry pump, the largest and heaviest pump in the oil sands. She also helped GIW achieve the major accomplishment of installing GIW pumps in hydrotransport service at all oil sands mines. As a solution-oriented professional with significant experience in customer relationship management, she is dedicated to supporting the needs of GIW’s customers and has built long-standing relationships that continue to thrive. Timmerman holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in mechanical engineering.