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Showing Inclusivity as a Women-Owned Business (Guest Post) - Robinson Industries

Certified WBENC | Women's Business Enterprise

Inclusivity means not just “we’re allowed to be here,” but “we are valued.” I’ve always said, “Smart teams will do amazing things, but truly diverse teams will do impossible things.” (Original quote by Claudia Brind-Woody.) I am proud to work for a company that is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) business, meaning that we are recognized as a women-owned business in the U.S. The diversity levels in any given company have a direct impact on consumer behavior.

As our culture continues to foster improved diversity, we can show more empathy and understanding toward our customers, co-workers and community. Robinson works diligently to uphold this certification and many employees take great pride in the fact that we are a women-owned business. 

 

The journey to becoming WBENC Certified first began when Fred and Ardis Robinson started Robinson Industries in 1947. Their three children Bin, Inez and Ron became very active within the company, and each later went on to have children who also became a big part of this operation. As time went on, Robinson began to build a foundation that was structured with many female managers. Robinson first began looking into becoming WBENC Certified after a company that they frequently did business with approached them about obtaining this certification. This certification was not easy to acquire, and it is something Robinson has worked very hard to maintain for a number of reasons. The certification allows us to show that we have high levels of diversity within our company, which in turn allows us to improve our business and relationships with our clients.

When I began looking into different co-op opportunities to potentially participate in for my senior year of high school, I immediately knew a job at Robinson Industries was something I wanted to pursue. Since I have had the opportunity of working as a front desk receptionist, I have been able to see firsthand all the ways in which Robinson promotes diversity along with a positive work environment. Working with many different people all from different backgrounds and lifestyles has really helped prepare me for the next step in my life as I transition out of high school and into the workforce. 

A women-owned manufacturing business in a town of a little over 1,000 people is unique. The distinction has helped me, a member of the future female generation, realize that I can aspire for large endeavors, even if I am from a small town. As a young woman, it is motivating to see all the ways in which Robinson Industries gives equal opportunity to everyone and I’ve always aspired to be a part of this type of change for my colleagues, my community and my causes.

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Taylor Newman attends Beaverton High School and is currently a senior. She participates in her high school’s work-based learning program and has been working as front desk receptionist at Robinson Industries since June of 2021.

Contributors

Ronda Robinson Ronda Robinson Marketing Manager

The granddaughter of company founders Fred and Ardis Robinson, Ronda Robinson is committed to growing the family business. An employee since 1981, Ronda began her career at Robinson Industries in sales and now works as the company’s marketing manager. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in labor and industrial relations from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kennedy Shea Kennedy square2 Marketing Coordinator

Kennedy Shea began working at Robinson Industries at age 16, having held many different positions over the years. In 2018, she joined Robinson full-time as operations liaison. Kennedy earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Northwood University in 2017 with a major in marketing and a minor in management. She completed her MBA from the Richard DeVos Graduate School of Management in 2018.