Under Bolt’s leadership, Integer is implementing sustainable systems that enable the full engagement of the organization to achieve excellence in manufacturing, safety, quality, delivery, responsiveness and efficiency. She also leads efforts to instill a culture of continuous improvement within the company.
During her 15-year career with Integer, Bolt has held numerous executive roles, including leading the Electrochem and Portable Medical businesses, managing supply chain, directing operations across multiple manufacturing facilities and overseeing engineering teams.
Prior to joining Integer in 2005, Bolt spent 12 years at General Motors/Delphi Corporation in quality and manufacturing leadership roles.
Talk about your leadership skills. What is the most important lesson you have learned that has guided you in your career?Bolt: One of the most important lessons I’ve learned that continues to guide my career is ensuring you have a strong team in place, and that every voice on the team is truly heard. My primary job is to cultivate and empower my team’s success, and it all starts with fostering a culture of inclusion.
Selecting a strong team with the right technical skills and capabilities is table stakes. Effectiveness of the team comes with culture and support. Creating an environment where the team can speak with transparency and candor is critical. As a leader, it’s important to set the tone and expectation to ensure every team member is heard.
What career advice would you give to your younger self?
Bolt: Take control of your career. Do not wait for someone to come and tell you what’s next. The more experience and perspective you gain, the better leader you become. I’ve been very fortunate to advance through a number of functions both as promotions and as lateral moves, but to some extent it was more luck than by design. I believe the experience of sitting in multiple chairs and knowing what it’s like to “walk in the shoes” of my team has helped me gain a higher level of empathy and understanding, which has enabled me to become a better leader.
As a young manufacturing engineer, I often hesitated to raise my hand or voice my opinion unless I was 100 percent sure of my answer. I feared being judged or viewed as incapable. If I could go back in time, I would tell my younger self to speak up, to be heard, and to raise my hand for that next opportunity!
Why is it important for companies to be more inclusive and have more women in charge?
Bolt: Research has demonstrated time and time again that a diverse leadership team results in increased performance. Companies that embrace diversity and create inclusive environments outperform their peers.
At Integer, I’m proud to be the executive sponsor of our Athena Alliance employee resource group (ERG), which focuses on gender diversity and inclusion. Our purpose is to bring gender diversity to all levels and functions of our organization through awareness, mentorship, leadership behaviors, talent development, and support of an environment that fosters gender diversity and inclusion. Our mission is to lead the creation, execution, and adoption of behaviors, policies, materials, and programs that will address the gender diversity gap at all levels and functions within the organization. We believe that ultimately, the efforts of this ERG will provide Integer with access to a larger, more diverse talent pool in a competitive market. By fostering gender diversity at the leadership level and throughout the organization, Integer will benefit from the diverse perspectives that women bring to decision making and innovation, in turn improving business performance.