Quality Assurance Associate
Misconceptions around cannabis are changing, but one that seems to stick is the type of person who works in the industry. As a woman and a native of Colombia with a chemical and materials engineering background, I find that I don’t often fit the stereotype.
This isn’t an uncommon feeling, as I was one of only a few women in some of my engineering classes, but what’s interesting is how women are bringing their unique expertise and interests to guide the development of cannabis industry standards. This is especially true in the quality assurance field.
When I started at Thrive, I was drawn to the company’s shared dedication to quality assurance and state-of-the-art extraction processes. My passion for research and experience in engineering provided me the foundation needed to be a strong addition to the quality assurance team.
What I’ve learned through the course of seeing Thrive grow is that having a collaborative team that prioritizes communication and an understanding of corporate goals is a critical factor to achieving high QA standards throughout the organization and ensuring buy-in from the rest of the team.
All of these lessons have played a factor in how we’re successfully implementing seed-to-sale software into our quality assurance systems. And while it’s vital to understand the benefits of bringing any technology or software into your current systems, it’s just as important to make sure each staff member has the support and training they need. Everyone has varying capabilities when it comes to technology, so it’s also critical to tailor a training model to different skill levels.
This brings me to another point: people are unique. As a woman in the cannabis industry and a mother to a young daughter, I find a lot of parallels between gaining new insight into cannabis quality assurance practices and learning to navigate a field that is traditionally male-dominated. I often tell my daughter to follow her dreams and be her own person, and that inspiration has a lot of weight in a relatively new space like cannabis in Canada.
When I started in the cannabis industry, I wasn’t an expert. But I chose to think of ways that I could transfer my skills and education into an industry where I knew I could succeed. Cannabis companies are looking for the best professionals out there right now, so if you have a certain skill, play into that and find a growing company that you can help.
What’s exciting in cannabis is that there are so many opportunities to grow, improve and learn. And as a woman in a field that is typically thought of as being male-dominated, those opportunities provide new avenues where we can impact and shape the industry.