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Women in Manufacturing is a community created by Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) members and designed exclusively for women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry, and want to share perspectives, gain cutting edge manufacturing information, improve leadership and communication skills, participate in sponsoring programs and network with industry peers. Visit the Women in Manufacturing website.

Monday, October 6, 2014

WiM Featured in New Manufacturing.Net Story about Combatting Stereotypes with a "New Rosie the Riveter"

In an awesome new piece published today on Manufacturing.net, author Bridget Bergin says promoting a "modern Rosie" is the key to attracting girls to future manufacturing careers.

Bergin, who attended the 4th Annual WiM SUMMIT in Schaumberg, Illinois last week, cited our brand new survey results as support for the theory that young women are staying out of manufacturing because they are buying into false, negative stereotypes that girls are not suited for STEM careers.

At the SUMMIT, Bergin picked up on a theme - If women can see it, they can be it - and writes that role modeling might be the best way to combat these stereotypes.  Bergin thinks that if successful working women are visible as "modern Rosies," young ladies will be encouraged to pursue careers they often perceive to be "boys only."

"Girls need a frame of reference for women in manufacturing that doesn’t date back to their grandparents’ time - something more relevant to their lives and interests," writes Bergin.

Bergin notes that Chandra Brown, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing for the U.S. Department of Commerce, motivated SUMMIT attendees in her presentation to take on the challenge and “get visible” .

"When my old company used to do shop tours, I used to lead a lot of tours, especially when we had the high schools come in," Bergin quotes Brown as saying at the SUMMIT. "It doesn’t matter if you have women when they are hidden, right?"

We love that the article is using our survey as a call to action!  Be visible!

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WiM Press Release: New Survey Shows Keys to Recruitment of Women to Manufacturing Sector

New Survey Shows Keys to Recruitment of Women to Manufacturing  Sector

New Women in Manufacturing Group’s Survey Results Released Ahead of Manufacturing Day


Schaumburg, IL - With national Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) set for this Friday, October 3, 2014, a new survey shows that there is one group of potential employees that should not be overlooked – young women.  Women in Manufacturing, (WiM), a group of nearly 500 women dedicated to attracting, retaining and advancing women in the manufacturing sector released the survey, co-produced with Plante Moran, today.


The survey of over 870 women - including both experienced women currently working in manufacturing and young women who are just  beginning to consider their career options - offers several promising findings for the future of women in the manufacturing sector.  Most importantly, the survey found that there is significant overlap between the top factors young women are seeking in careers and the factors manufacturing careers offer.


In the survey, young women ranked compensation as the most important factor they are seeking in a career, followed closely by work that is interesting and challenging.  At the same time, more than 80% of women in manufacturing today say that their work is interesting and challenging and half of women in manufacturing say that compensation is the most significant benefit of the sector.


The survey also found that 74% of women working in manufacturing believe that the sector offers multiple career paths for women and that more than half of women in manufacturing today think that the sector is a leading industry for job growth for women.  In addition, 64% of women working in manufacturing reported that they would recommend a career in manufacturing to a young woman.


But despite these high numbers, young women remain woefully unaware of the opportunities available to them in the manufacturing sector.  Less than half of young women believe that manufacturing offers the interesting and challenging work they’re seeking and less than 10% of young women placed manufacturing among the top five career fields that they feel offer the most opportunity for young women today.


The survey results were presented today on the first day of the fourth annual WiM SUMMIT held in Schaumburg, IL.  This year’s SUMMIT is the largest gathering in the organization’s history, bringing together a record number of women in the manufacturing sector.


“Our survey is particularly relevant with Manufacturing Day approaching later this week, a day focused on introducing manufacturing to young people and their parents,” said WiM Director Allison Grealis.  “Because the survey focused both on women who are already in the manufacturing sector and young women outside the sector who are considering the wide array of career options available to them, the results are forward-looking and poised to benefit recruitment efforts.”


“On the whole, these survey results should be seen as a call to action in a space where there is great opportunity,” Grealis continued.  “When we know what young women are looking for in careers, we are in a better position to demonstrate how manufacturing can help them meet their aspirations.  We have long known that women are good for manufacturing; and these survey results go a long way to showing that manufacturing is good for women, too.”


Learn more about the WiM survey and its results:


Survey Fact Sheet


Survey Report




Women in Manufacturing™ is a more than 400-member-strong national organization dedicated to the attraction, retention and advancement of women who are pursuing or have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry.  This group encourages the engagement of women who want to share perspectives, gain cutting-edge manufacturing information, improve leadership and communication skills, participate in sponsoring programs and network with industry peers. Members benefit from exclusive access to regional and national programming, networking opportunities, mentoring and sponsoring programs, monthly professional development webinars, a customized employment tool called WiMWorks, online discussion communities, the quarterly Impact e-newsletter and a robust searchable online directory.  www.womeninmanufacturing.org

Friday, September 26, 2014

WiM Featured in USA Today Centerfold Insert on Manufacturing in America

If you live in Chicago, Atlanta, D.C./Baltimore, San Francisco, Detroit, Houston, or New York and you picked up a copy of USA Today this morning, you would have seen a centerfold insert titled, "Manufacturing in America."

Flip open to the insert's second page, and you'd see a page-long piece authored by WiM Director Allison Grealis titled, "Bridging the Gender Gap in Manufacturing."  

In the article, Allison describes the growing opportunities for women in today's manufacturing sector and what WiM is doing to support women in manufacturing.

Don't live in one of the print markets?  No problem!  Check out the digital copy here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SUMMIT Spotlight: Panel on Women in Today's Manufacturing Sector

The fourth annual WiM SUMMIT is NEXT WEEK!  Here's another highlighted event planned for this year's SUMMIT:

The next panel in the summit we’d like to highlight is called the “Attraction, Retention, and Advancement of  Women in Manufacturing”, also taking place on Tuesday morning. The panel is being moderated by The Manufacturing Leadership Council, and includes four fabulous speakers we’re excited to hear.

Lisa Blais is a partner at Egon Zehnder International. She leads the firm’s North American Industrial Practice, focusing on industrial and private sectors. She also Is experienced in CEO, board, and senior executive searches for various business operations.

Natalie Panek is the Mission Systems Engineer for MDA Space Missions. She is an engineer, rocket scientist, explorer and a vocal advocate for women in technology.

Diana Peters is the Executive Director and Founder of the Symbol Training Institute, a post-secondary manufacturing training facility dedicated to combating the skilled-labor shortage. She strongly advocates by women’s equality in manufacturing and employs female instructors at Symbol to set a positive example to women interested in the field.

Sandra Westlund-Dennihan is the CEO and Design Engineer of Quality Float works, Inc., a premier manufacturer of metal float balls, valves, and assemblies.  Today, the company exports its products throughout Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

Don’t miss out on hearing these amazing women in manufacturing speak and register for SUMMIT 2014 today!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

DIY Makeup Project Shows that Girls Can Rock Tech, Too!

Many women have felt the frustration of searching for that perfect shade of makeup, only to have it discontinued a few weeks later. For most people, the search for the perfect shade will just cycle back to the beginning and the search willcontinue. But for tech genius Grace Choi, “no solution” was not an option.

In this Business Insider article, journalist Alyson Shontell sat down with Choi to learn about her startup, Mink, which promises to help anyone easily 3D print their own makeup from any home computer.

After graduating with a hotel administration degree from Cornell University in 2005, Choi became an assistant to Dr. Martin Prince, an established inventor and physician in New York. According to the article, it was there that her interest in technology began to blossom. Dr. Prince took her under his leadership, where she was able to work on his inventions, learn from other physicians, and experiment.

Choi later continued onto Harvard Business School, in hopes of learning the investment skills she would need to kick start future ideas. While at Harvard, Choi began developing ideas for DIY makeup lines after being disappointed in the lack of color options for her skin tone.

"I felt pretty insignificant when there was no Asian Cover Girl model," she told Shontell. "America is supposed to be progressive."

Choi’s idea began to come to fruition when she realized that the colors and dyes most makeup companies mix into their formulas could be created with simple computer printer colors: Black, Cyan, Yellow,  and Magenta. By simply manipulating a $70 HP printer, pigment can be printed on the top layer of blank white shadow, cream, lipstick, or moisturizer for a DIY product.

"[Makeup companies] charge a huge premium on something that tech provides for free. That one thing is color," Choi explained during her TechCrunch Disrupt presentation.

According to the article, “Choi envisions a world where celebrities have iTunes-like pages for makeup, where a girl can log on and print Kim Kardashian's exact lipstick shade to wear.

We love that while Choi is dedicated to showing young girls that anyone can become an inventor with simple products at home. At this time, the Mink printer is not being sold as a ready-made, but Choi is touring the country hosting “hack-a-thons” and DIY online tutorials to inspire young girls to create the solutions themselves.

"I'm willing to take a hit financially because my number one motivation is for change. I think of Mink as an educational tool for kids, and one that can get girls interested in technology. I don't need to be on some billionaires list.”

Read the rest of the article here:http://www.businessinsider.com/grace-choi-mink-2014-9#ixzz3DUiJdHN1


Monday, August 25, 2014

Nominate a Woman in Manufacturing for a STEP Award

So here's something we all know - Manufacturing faces a serious skills gap.  Here's something else we all know - Part of this gap is the underrepresentation of women in the industry. While women make up approximately 50% of the labor force, that number is only about 24% in the manufacturing labor force.

This data is one of the main motivators for our work here at WiM.

Beyond our own efforts, we support the efforts of other organizations who seek to attract and retain women in the manufacturing sector.  One of those is the STEP Ahead initiative from The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte.

As part of the STEP Ahead initiative, The Manufacturing Institute presents the Women in Manufacturing STEP Awards to honor women in the manufacturing industry who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the C-suite.

This year will be the 3rd annual STEP awards!

Learn more about the awards in this video.

We like this program because it inspires the next generation female leaders to pursue a career in manufacturing and showcases the amazing opportunities the manufacturing industry can offer.

Do you know an impressive woman in manufacturing?  Nominate her for a STEP Award today.

The 2015 STEP Awards will take place on March 26. Nominations begin August 1 and end October 1, 2014.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Control Engineering Quotes WiM on Solution to U.S. Manufacturing Skills Gap

A new article is up on the Control Engineering site.  The article, "One answer to the U.S. manufacturing skills gap: women" features WiM.

Here's the first paragraph -

According to Women in Manufacturing (WiM), women are underrepresented in manufacturing not because they are not able, but because they still believe the manufacturing field is a better fit for men. The biggest challenges women face when considering the manufacturing sector are the untrue stigmas that surround manufacturing today. Women in manufacturing are constantly fighting to show modern manufacturing for what it is - a high-tech field with many available jobs well-suited for both men and women workers.

Read the rest here.