Lizanel Durán Lara said it was destiny that she joined the plastics industry. She started as an indirect and direct buyer for a company that manufactured plastic extrusion pieces.
"In the followings months, I had to learn about the manufacturing process and industry. I was very surprised about all the processes and technology that are part of this plastics industry. I fell in love with it," she said.
Durán Lara earned a logistics MBA, majoring in international trade, from the University of Guanajuato. She's held positions such as international trade and customer service coordinator, materials planner, logistics coordinator, logistics manager and now plant manager for KI Industries Inc. in Mexico, ensuring the safety of all plant personnel and the reliability of the plant.
"I am from Jaral del Progreso, a little village of 38,000 people. … My parents made the efforts to pay for my high school in the city of Guanajuato, which is three hours from my home by bus. I had to live alone since I was 14 years old. I had to learn to not lose the floor with the liberty that I had living by myself at such a young age," she said. "I had to be responsible for my actions and had to mature very fast.
"I was bullied because I didn't speak grammatically correct — all of the people in my village spoke the same form of language, which was different than that spoken in Guanajuato. I didn't understand why my classmates laughed at me. The first months were extremely difficult, but I had to learn to speak correctly and didn't allow the bullying to affect me. I was the first member of my family to finish high school in Guanajuato living alone and with the best grades of the generation," she added.
Durán Lara said the mold she's breaking is being a 38-year-old mother of two and manager of a manufacturing plant competing in a primarily male-dominated industry.
"Mexico is a country which prioritizes a child's education and has a tendency to criticize women who work and not share her time with her children," she said. "[I am] fighting to break the glass ceiling that limits the professional growth of women and ignoring people who criticize and judge others."