As someone who’s benefited from the mentoring of others, Shernale makes it a personal mission to pay it forward and provide inspiration for the next generation of female engineers.
Shernale is a Director of Engineering for Stanley Black & Decker’s Power Tools Group. She started in the company as an intern in 1993 and has since worked her way to a top position within the tools business.
Being in a traditionally male-centric line of work hasn’t stopped her from succeeding. In fact, she feels fortunate to have had both male and female mentors that have helped her develop and grow throughout her 25+ years with the company.
Shernale also co-leads Stanley Black & Decker’s Women’s Network chapter in Maryland and has made it a mission to partner with organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, United Way and Junior Achievement to encourage, empower and set the stage for the next generation.
“Being in STEAM, we still do not see a lot of women. I don’t think it’s because women are not interested, we just don’t have the representation. I want the girls behind me to have an easier path than I did.”
What she likes most about her job
“There absolutely a beauty in designing and crafting things and seeing them be made out of the correct materials. My favorite part of the job is the interaction I have with people. There’s a lot of critical thinking and collaboration. We get to see a product from concept straight through manufacturing, which is fantastic.”
Her most influential mentor
“I get asked this question a lot. Most people tend to expect my answer to be a woman. It’s actually a gentleman at Stanley Black & Decker. He’s a person who always challenged me and taught me to listen. From day one... Whatever the challenge, his approach was always, ‘What are you going to do about it?’ He’s taught me several lessons over the years that I didn’t get at first. If I said to him, ‘I’m not the right person,’ he would always say to me, ‘If not you, then who?’ I remind myself of that all the time.”
How she got involved in STEAM mentoring
“Last year, Stanley Black & Decker partnered with a local high school in Baltimore City. It’s a private high school, but the kids do not pay to go. Instead, they do a non-paid internship at a local company one day a week. I met a young man. In just talking to him... hearing his story and learning what he wants to do in life. I just realized, if I don’t take the time out of my already busy schedule and help this young man, who’s going to do it?”
What motivates her to be a mentor
“Being in STEAM, we still do not see a lot of women. I don’t think it’s because women are not interested, we just don’t have the representation. I’ve had a successful career, but it hasn’t always been easy. I want the girls behind me to have an easier path than I did.”
Her advice to STEAM students
“Don’t be afraid of it. Ask a lot of questions. Imagine yourself in whatever role you think you might want to be in. Read about it. Don’t try to jump in and be the best at it right away. Take steps. Prepare yourself to be successful.”
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