“Do not be afraid of your own success.” Those wise words have become Yanchai Zhang’s personal and professional rallying cry. Zhang joined Caterpillar nearly 15 years ago as an electrical engineer, and her success and career growth have been bolstered by a variety of opportunities that she has not only been given but created for herself along the way.
Yanchai says she tells woman searching for a new career to take every chance available to learn all you can, and more importantly, speak up. She says, “If you are not willing to speak your mind, others won’t be able to feed off your innovation and ideas.”
Zhang’s commitment to driving new ideas and innovation has credited her with 43 patents during her tenure with Caterpillar. She says she is excited every day at Caterpillar because of her ability to apply new learnings to our industry and believes her innovative style and leadership capabilities can positively influence Caterpillar’s strategy and long term goals.
Diverse ideas, people and personalities are critical to remaining innovative and at the forefront of the industries we serve. As Caterpillar continues to promote inclusion in the workplace and drive a culture to balance for better, Zhang said she would tell young women today (and a younger version of herself) “be confident, be yourself, and do not ever think being a woman limits your ability to succeed.”
The best career advice Zhang ever received? It came from Caterpillar Vice President Tana Utley “Make and attempt to be your best self. Know the art of war. Know yourself. Know your feminine strength. Know your workplace.” Her knowledge of the workplace and her personal strengths is critical in her current role as team lead. Zhang and her team provide support for innovative solutions and digital based analytics to the enterprise “We excel at client service, we understand, align and deliver.”
A PHD in electrical engineering, nearly fifteen years of driving innovation for a fortune 100 company and a team focused mentality makes Zhang qualified to leave, women, future talent and all beginning their career journey this one concrete piece of advice. “Always have a positive attitude and trust yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Make the best of job or task you are working on. Get the job done right and keep it simple.”