For Wesleyne Greer, senior manager of sales at Materia Inc., it's all about the quality of time spent devoted to her professional and personal life rather than quantity of time.
Greer, who graduated from Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss., with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, said her biggest career achievement was in 2014 when she gave birth to her son, took six weeks off work and still came in No. 2 in the company for sales.
Greer also said she's proud that she has graduated from "a really small school in Mississippi that nobody really ever heard of," moved to a new state, started her career in the lab, transitioned to a commercial role and has been successful.
During NPE2018 in Orlando, Fla., Greer spoke at the Women's Connection Breakfast at Antec about work-life balance. Greer has firsthand experience as a wife of 12 years to husband William, mother to William II, 9, and Wesley, 4, and senior manager of sales with 10-hour workdays and 50-60 percent of her time spent traveling.
"He is my No. 1 fan and support system," Greer said about her husband. "Without him, I would [not] be as successful as I am today."
Greer is involved in the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Society of Plastics Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and American Chemical Society.
While Materia, a thermoset resin provider is headquartered in Pasadena, Calif., Greer is based in Houston.
"[T]hey will send emails up until 7-8 [p.m.] my time," she said. "I might glance at it, but I don't respond. I do that because I really feel like you have to set boundaries just because, if you don't, then they'll expect you to send an email at 10 o'clock [at night]."
She said she's an advocate for having two separate phones — one for work and one for personal use. "I call it the separation of church and state," she said with a laugh.
When Greer was senior technical sales representative of rheology at Anton Paar USA, Regional Sales Manager Gina Paroline was her mentor and a major influence on her career.
"She overcame a lot of hurdles and a lot of barriers, and she always empowered me and helped me find my voice. … She's really the person that I can credit a lot of success with," Greer said. "She really empowered me and helped me find a voice, taught me how to become a very good salesperson and also taught me management skills and techniques and how to hone them and really be a good leader."
Greer said empowerment is important, especially for an industry that is so male-dominated. She said she feels like there are two types of women: "There are ones that empower you and uplift you, and there are ones that tear you down."
"I think that as women/people — I think this is important for men, too — that we should always find a way to empower our colleagues, our employees. … One thing that always is important to me is that someone helped me get to where I am today and so I want to reach back to help somebody, pull somebody else up," she added. "As an industry, that's something we struggle with — whether you're a man, a woman, it doesn't really matter. We should focus more on empowering our colleagues."