Chart’s Jillian Evanko on the Adventure of Manufacturing Jobs
If you’re looking for a career with no “typical days,” Jillian Evanko would advise you to choose manufacturing.
Mixing it up: Every workday offers something new and exciting for Evanko, the president and CEO of Chart Industries, a global leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of process technologies and equipment for the clean energy and industrial gas markets.
- “Whether I have a customer meeting, an investor conference, a keynote speaking event, a panel session or meetings with my executive team, every single day looks different to me, which is what I love about my job,” said Evanko.
Business sense: It was a talent for business that led Evanko—a 2023 honoree of the Manufacturing Institute’s Women MAKE Awards, which recognize outstanding female talent in the manufacturing sector—to the industry.
- “Early in my career I worked for Honeywell and Dover Corporation in various financial and operational roles,” said Evanko, who holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame.
- Once she entered the field, she found that she genuinely enjoyed it—and she’s here to stay. “The fast-moving, exciting nature of the manufacturing industry is what keeps me in it,” she said. “There is always an opportunity to innovate or make a technological development, and you really get to see the impact of what you produce making a difference in everyday life.”
A changing industry: Evanko has seen manufacturing evolve for the better since she got her start, especially for women employees.
- “In the past few years, I think the world has come to recognize that there is a direct correlation between diversity in manufacturing and increased innovation,” she said. “By diversifying a workforce, you gain access to new thoughts, ideas and perspectives.”
- “Since I’ve begun my career, I have seen more women enter the manufacturing industry, and even within my past five years at Chart, we are continuing to see more women taking on more senior roles, including operations and manufacturing roles.”
Growing company: In recent months, Evanko has been even busier than usual, as Chart Industries recently completed its acquisition of Howden, an air- and gas-handling products manufacturer and services provider.
- The acquisition, Chart’s largest to date, has doubled the size of the company’s engineering team. It “helps us expand into new geographies and gain access to new customers, and it provides us with a much more expansive Nexus of Clean™ offering,” she said, referring to the firm’s array of products and solutions for a more sustainable future.
The best, period: Evanko devotes much of her time to helping and educating others. One example of this is the way she provides her daughter’s Girl Scout troop with access to entrepreneurial speakers, as well as information about the world of manufacturing. She has developed a mantra that keeps her constantly striving for improvement:
- “I like to say that I don’t want to be the best female CEO, I want to be the best CEO,” she said. “For women in manufacturing looking to grow in their careers, aim to be the best you can be despite gender, age or background.”
- “Be confident in what you bring to the table and never underestimate your abilities,” she continued. “Listen to others and empower them to bring their ideas forward. And never underestimate the power of simply being kind.”