Ann Scheuerman on being positive, having fun, and finding your place has been saved
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Ann Scheuerman on being positive, having fun, and finding your place
Deloitte is proud to introduce a new series profiling women in the manufacturing industry. By highlighting the stories of women in manufacturing, we hope to help facilitate meaningful conversations, create connections, and showcase the myriad of opportunities for women to enter and thrive in the manufacturing industry.
From a job producing ladies’ nylons to her current role as an industrial products sector leader, manufacturing has always been top of mind for Ann Scheuerman. Learn more about the career path of the Global Tax leader for the Energy, Resources & Industrials sector and the US Tax leader for the Industrial Products & Construction sector at Deloitte; how she’s gained mentors; and why her work/life balance is so important.
Manufacturing her career
Ann Scheuerman stumbled into accounting. Spoiler alert: It worked out just fine.
After her dad got out of the military, he worked on the business side of a manufacturing company in Athens, Georgia. Together with her mom’s encouragement that she become a successful working woman, manufacturing became an early interest.
“I was coached by my parents to think about business,” she says. “So, I went into the business school at the University of Georgia, and I was fortunate enough that my first accounting teacher told me, ‘You should think about a career in accounting; you’re really good at this.’”
When it came time to pick a major, she thought about what her professor had said and chose accounting, with a focus on tax. And to help pay for college, Scheuerman worked in the manufacturing industry making yarn and women’s nylons. Although she’s thankful that women aren’t required to wear nylons in the business workplace anymore, she credits those early experiences, as well as her father’s inspiration, for sparking her interest in the industry.
She continued her accounting and tax focus while in grad school at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business, where she took classes on strategy and finance.
“I’ve always loved the operational side of business,” she says.
Though a career in tax typically starts out quite broad, without a focus on industry just yet, Scheuerman says she was fortunate that one of her first clients early on in her career was an automobile supply manufacturer.
“I watched the industry grow from its focus on seatbelts to airbags,” she says. “I watched it move locations from Detroit, where all the US auto industry was, to warmer places for their employees and to places with incentives, including lower taxes for their bottom line.”
She continued to gain experience in the field and eventually landed at Deloitte in 2002, in a role specifically focused on the industry.
Realizing the importance of mentorship
“When I first got out of school, there was a very small number of female partners across what is now the Big Four in Atlanta,” she says. “There were many times I was the only woman in the room.”
But she says that throughout her career, she has always been able to find common ground and support from colleagues and mentors, and she encourages both women entering the field and those already established in it to do the same.
“Build a support network where you can have honest conversations about those things you want to achieve, both personally and professionally,” she says.
Scheuerman credits many mentors with having a positive impact on her life and career, beginning with her parents. She’s quick to note that the best thing all her mentors did on her behalf was to offer her a seat at the table.
“I got to go to meetings with leaders before I was even in that circle,” she says. “I got to watch the way they talked about not just how we serve clients, but also the way we run our business.”
These firsthand opportunities to witness her mentors in challenging conversations, championing for development and their teams, left a lasting impact on Scheuerman. And they’ve inspired her to build her own legacy of leadership by mentoring young talent, both at Deloitte and at her alma mater.
She urges women to “find that place that allows you to comfortably be yourself” and use their voice to always advocate for themselves and their teams.
Build a support network where you can have honest conversations about those things you want to achieve, both personally and professionally.
Balancing personal and professional life
As a mom to four sons and four dogs, Scheuerman jokingly says, “Y’all call that chaos. I call that family.” It’s an insight central to her career. In fact, one of her biggest “aha moments” was realizing that other peoples’ expectations for her work/life balance did not matter.
“When it comes to my own life, it’s really about making sure I’m confident with the kind of mom, sister, daughter, and professional I want to be,” she explains. These are the wayfinding points on the compass she uses to prioritize goals and navigate commitments.
When asked about her favorite food or place to travel, she has a hard time naming just one. Instead, Scheuerman chooses to focus on her continued desire to try new things and to view even routine experiences from a new angle. She thrives on change in her professional life as well—it’s one of the things she enjoys best about public accounting.
“Things move very quickly in this profession,” she says. “I tell this to the people I mentor all the time. It’s constantly changing, and you are constantly growing, which is why I love what I do so much.”
A self-proclaimed “three-quarters-full” optimist, Scheuerman’s life motto is, “In whatever you are doing, you should be having fun!” She applies this optimistic mentality even to the most difficult situations. When asked about any stumbling blocks in her career, she says she looks at them as “learning opportunities” and readily accepts the challenges they pose.
“The manufacturing industry is a great place to be and a great place to make an impact,” Scheuerman says, before going on to discuss the changes reshaping the industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the challenges that come with innovation, as well as the need for and focus on advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
But no matter the day-to-day challenges Scheuerman has to face, or what the future of manufacturing holds, her advice for looking to enter the manufacturing industry is “Seize the moment. The industry is exciting and constantly innovating and changing, and there are so many ways to make an impact.”
In whatever you are doing, you should be having fun!
Deloitte Services LP
Ann Scheuerman: The lightning round
Describing herself in three words: Smart, funny, and loyal
Favorite food or drink: Everything—but I’ll pass on the olives
Favorite place to travel: Anywhere new with friends that lets me experience new things or see the same thing from a new angle
One thing on her bucket list: Traveling globally with my children
Women in Manufacturing