Meet the 2020 Women of BMW: Sharon Beckett

Here’s to the women who are empowering, inspiring, and leading others!

This Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating our Women of BMW! Each nominee exemplifies the pillars of movement and BMW and serves as an inspiration for the BMW family. Throughout the series, we will hear the stories and advice from women leaders who have broken stereotypes and shattered glass ceilings. We created the #WomenofBMW series to highlight the progress of women in their roles throughout the automotive industry while motivating change going forward.

Name: Sharon Beckett

Division: VPS

Location: South Carolina

Q: In a few words, describe your role at BMW? 

A: I just recently changed roles.  Previously, I was responsible for Business Planning at Plant Spartanburg.  This included supporting the development of the business strategy with our Senior Management, facilitating the Target Management Process and Management Review process for the plant.  Currently, I am responsible for the VPS team at Plant Spartanburg. Our main objective is to enable a continual improvement culture through coaching and training and by utilizing Lean Six Sigma tools, VPS principles and the Production Academy.

Q: How important do you think mentorship (being a mentor and having mentorship opportunities) is to one’s career? 

A: It takes premium people to build a premium quality product.  Our business is all about people and enabling the development of our associates and ourselves is key to the company’s ability to achieve its objectives.  I see mentorship as an important component to this; as a leader, it is my responsibility to share my knowledge and experience to support associate career growth.  This enables and encouages the generation of new ideas and new ways of doing things.  Further process improvements and innovations that come from this not only benefit the individual, but the company as well. 

Q: How would you say you’ve grown throughout your time at the Spartanburg Plant?  

A: Things I’ve learned:  

Continually challenge yourself to grow as an individual. 

Embrace change and being flexible.

When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening.  That’s true power.

Listen with the intent to understand, not to reply.

It’s okay to be wrong or to not know the answer.  Accept it and take it as a learning opportunity.

Appreciate working with different cultures and to value the experience I gained on international assignment and from the various responsibilities I’ve held during my BMW career.

Responsibility, Appreciation, Trust, Transparency and Openness are principles by which I have always tried to lead.

Q: What advice would you give to women pursuing a career in your field? 

A: Take charge of your own personal and professional development – identify what you want to do, what you need to learn to do it, and just do it!

Build relationships with people who will encourage and support you – personally and/or professionally – and reciprocate.

Build a network in the business world and community.  Volunteer and serve the community.  Your leadership role does not stop after working hours.

Self-control is strength.  Calmness is mastery.  You have to get to a point where your mood doesn’t shift based on the insignificant actions of someone else. Don’t allow others to control the direction of your life. You are in control of the situation by the way you react to it. 

Q: What inspires you in the workplace and why? 

A: I enjoy being creative, identitifying new opportunities, improving processes and solving problems. I am inspired by collaborating with others and building relationships. I like to share my experience and knowledge, learn about someone elses and then perhaps we learn something new together and change things for the better. I enjoy working with diverse cultures in the BMW Production Network and bringing together unique perspectives, which yield in value-added results that could not be achieved otherwise. 

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