Monday, August 5, 2013

Women Supporting Women – Time to Pass the Torch

Last year I had the great honor of being one of the inaugural recipients of the STEP award. These awards are presented by the Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte, University of Phoenix, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers in honor of women in Science Technology Engineering and Production (STEP). I was completely surprised when I was notified of the honor and looked forward to the awards ceremony.
Kudos goes out to the Manufacturing Institute for spearheading such a phenomenal program. It really surpassed all my expectations. I must admit that I really felt a sense of pride to be in a room of hundreds of women who were receiving this award. The fantastic part was the broad scope and range of the women being honored – from CEOs to plant managers and engineers.

I was interviewed as part of the
STEP Awards 2013.
I was even further humbled to be a part of the video that was shot to promote and memorialize this event. I realized then what a special award this was to receive. It is great to see that women really are starting to impact manufacturing in the United States as well as the world. We are changing the face of manufacturing – literally. And I truly believe the world will be a better place because of those changes.

There’s a long ways to go. Women make up only 1.1 percent of durable goods manufacturing CEOs in the U.S., only 13.7 percent of boards of directors, 10.4 percent of executive officers, and 24.4 percent of the manufacturing labor force, according to Deloitte Development and Manufacturing Institute. Just 30 percent of the 14 million Americans working in manufacturing are female. We need more women to join our ranks. We need their leadership, their vision, their expertise and ingenuity as the field becomes more advanced and requires a diversified set of talents. Karin Linder, founder of KARICO, wrote about this for the Huffington Post.

Women are starting to becoming driving forces
in manufacturing in the U.S. and internationally.
The STEP award comes with a year of programming that was first rate and endeavored to help increase the skillsets of all STEP honorees. A continuation of this will be in October at the Women in Manufacturing event in Dearborn, Michigan.

But now it comes times to pass the torch and submit for the next class of STEP honorees. I encourage you to nominate those women you know who are creating an impact in the way manufacturing is happening in your company or your town. We owe it to the next generation of women for them to see the tremendous opportunities that can lie ahead of them if they chose to have a career in the manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing is alive and well in the USA. It is on the cutting edge of changes occurring in technology and it provides and exciting and vibrant career path for both men and women.

Take a few moments to nominate a candidate now. Click here for the nomination form – the deadline to nominate is September 1.


  1. Even more important than "women really are starting to impact manufacturing in the United States as well as the world" is the the industry/world is starting to take notice more women's past and present contributions to STEP. Like SME's award to you and others. Congratulations Pam.

  2. Thanks - you bring up a great point. Women impacting manufacturing is not a new trend. It is great though to see the spotlight on the contribution of women now and I hope that helps to create a pipeline of bright minds into the manufacturing sector - both female and male.