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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.

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.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

WiM Director Allison Grealis Weighs In on Women Wanting Manufacturing Jobs

Check out the latest issue of PTC Magazine for a feature story on women and manufacturing jobs.  WiM and our director Allison Grealis are featured in the piece which cites several reasons women are reluctant to explore career options in the manufacturing sector.

"Too often they think of it as their father's manufacturing; still un-modern, dirty, dark, dingy and not a place for women," Grealis says in the article.  "The main reason we hear from women why they love manufacturing is that it's exciting.  There's a lot of on-the-job problem solving. ... It's never a dull day."

Read the full article - which includes a special spotlight on our Hear Her Story program - here.

WiM Featured in Latest Womanthology Issue

A few weeks ago, we were contacted by the amazing women behind Womanthology, a UK-based digital magazine and web-based community with a goal of "energising and empowering women in their careers and beyond, with a view to inspiring confidence at work."  Impressed by their mission and their work, we were happy to help when they asked WiM Director Allison Grealis for an interview.

Here's their Q&A with Allison:

Allison Grealis is Executive Director of Women in Manufacturing™, a national group with an aim of attracting and retaining women in the industrial sector and Vice President of Membership and Association Services of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), a full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America. Allison earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a certificate in Women’s Studies from Ohio University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Akron.

Please could you tell us a little about your career path to date?
I joined PMA in 2001. Since then, I’ve held a variety of positions including district, committee and division management, affinity partner relations, sponsorship sales, new product and service development, and member services. Now, I split my time between my responsibilities with PMA and serving as the executive director of Women in Manufacturing.

How did Women in Manufacturing come to be set up?
Women in Manufacturing (WiM) began in November 2009 with a small group of women Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) members who gathered at the FABTECH tradeshow in Chicago to discuss best practices, business conditions and women’s unique challenges and needs as minorities in the field.

What began as a small group of PMA members has grown into a strong, powerful network of women from across the manufacturing sector with what we think is a very important mission: supporting, retaining and advancing women in the manufacturing industry.

How many members do you have?
Today, WiM is nearly 500 members strong.

What sort of organisations do they come from?
Our members come from a wide array of industries from automotive and aerospace to oil and gas to medical devices.

What are the challenges for Women in Manufacturing members and how does the organisation help them to overcome these?
At WiM, we know that 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. Too often, people think that manufacturing is dirty, dark or dangerous. But manufacturing today is generally very high-tech and involves advanced technology and automation. It is much more about brains than brawn!

We started Women in Manufacturing in order to dispel these negative stereotypes and demonstrate that manufacturing is a great sector for women. We believe that networking and mentorship opportunities, in person and online , will help to attract and retain top-tier women in the manufacturing sector.

WiM members benefit from exclusive access to regional and national programming and networking opportunities with the largest event of each year being the annual WiM SUMMIT.

But we don’t stop at in-person events. Our support structure extends online with an active presence on Facebook and Twitter, a busy blog, and a dynamic website where we hold frequent professional development webinars and host online discussion communities. We also maintain a robust, searchable online directory and publish a quarterly e-newsletter, Impact.

Association Trends recently recognised our online efforts saying, WiM “has their community at the heart of their social media strategy at all times – supporting and connecting women in a male-dominated industry…They are about fostering connectedness and the visibility of their target constituents.”

Do you experience much resistance from male colleagues?
We typically get a favorable response from men in the manufacturing sector.  In fact, we have often heard that our members were referred to our organisation by their male colleagues.

The U.S. manufacturing sector today faces a significant challenge. There are many open jobs, but employers often struggle to find qualified workers. Men and women can agree that solving the problems related to the shortage of skilled workers is crucial to the future of manufacturing in this country and that these problems cannot be solved by only one-half of the workforce.

WiM is an inclusive organisation and our events are open to women and men who support them.

What sort of representation is there from equivalent membership organisations in different countries?
WiM is a national organisation in the U.S. with members from all across the country. While we are certainly supportive of efforts to advance women in manufacturing around the world, we are focused on increasing the number of women in the American manufacturing sector.

Are things changing and school and college level as more girls are encouraged to study STEM related subjects?
This question gets to a major point about women in the manufacturing sector today. Problems actually start much earlier than the workforce. A 2011 Bayer survey attributed the disparity between young girls’ high math and science test scores and the lack of women in careers that require those same skills to persistent, negative stereotypes that keep women away.

At WiM, we are doing our part to encourage girls to pursue STEM. Young women, we believe, will best be attracted to STEM opportunities and manufacturing careers if they have ready access to role models with whom they identify.

How are toys like Goldiblox helping to change perceptions of girls about STEM?
We are pleased to see some companies evolving away from toys that reinforce traditional gender roles. We believe that when young girls are told that they can be anything – including scientists, engineers, welders and precision machinists – they will set their dreams and aspirations accordingly.

What is next for Women in Manufacturing?
Women in ManufacturingRight now, we are gearing up for our fourth annual WiM SUMMIT. This year’s SUMMIT will be held in Schaumburg, Illinois on September 29 – October 1, 2014.  We’re expecting more than 200 professional women in manufacturing from around the country with titles ranging from production to CEO. Attendees will have numerous personal and professional development opportunities and enjoy keynote speakers, panel discussions, professional development tracks, a networking lunch and plant tours. It’s going to be the best SUMMIT yet and we’re looking forward to it.

Visit the Womanthology website for this piece and other great content.  And connect with them on social media: Twitter.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

WiM SUMMIT Spotlight: "State of Women in Manufacturing" with Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing

We are really excited about our annual SUMMIT, coming soon on September 29- October 1, 2014 in Schaumburg, IL!

Here on our blog, we've been highlighting various aspects of the upcoming SUMMIT.  We'll continue to post updates because there's so much to talk about!

The SUMMIT is geared toward women in manufacturing careers, gathering together more than 200 professional women to share perspectives and network with others in the industry.

SUMMIT 2014 will kick off its speaking panels bright and early on Tuesday the 30th with a welcome address, given by WiM Director Allison Grealis and remarks on the, "State of Women in Manufacturing," given by U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing Chandra Brown.

Brown manages a staff of over 70 international trade professionals, working to boost U.S. exports of manufactured products and helping to create and support jobs for America’s workers.

We’re excited to hear what she has to say about the part women have in the growth!

SUMMIT 2014 is rapidly approaching so register now here!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

WiM Press Release: Women in Manufacturing™ Announces 2014 Inaugural Board of Directors

We issued a press release today announcing our inaugural Board of Directors.  We are excited to share this list of 12 impressive women with you, our blog readers.  We think that our Board members are role models for the success of women in the manufacturing sector and we are thrilled to have them working with us.  Check out our full press release below -

CLEVELAND-- August 5, 2014 --Women in Manufacturing™ (WiM), a national organization dedicated to the attraction, retention and advancement of women in the manufacturing sector, today announced the election of 12 members to the group’s inaugural Board of Directors.   
“I could not be more pleased to welcome this outstanding group of women leaders in the manufacturing sector to our inaugural WiM Board,” said Allison Grealis, president of WiM. “Now, more than ever, the American manufacturing sector needs strong and creative leadership to overcome obstacles and continue on the path toward growth and prosperity. With the help of our newly constituted Board, we will continue to demonstrate that not only are women good for manufacturing, but manufacturing is good for women.”
The members of the newly elected Board include:
  • Karla Aaron, President, Hialeah Metal Spinning, Inc., Hialeah, FL     
  • Krista Brookman, Vice President, Catalyst, Milwaukee, WI
  • Elizabeth Engels, Independent Consultant, ACER Consultants, Timken (retired), Canton, OH
  • Lisa Habe, President & Chairman of the Board, Interlake Industries, Inc., Willoughby, OH
  • Kellie Johnson, President, Ace Clearwater Enterprises, Torrance, CA
  • Sheila LaMothe, Manager, Marketing & Public Relations North America, TRUMPF Inc., Farmington, CT
  • Una Lauricia, Senior Intellectual Property Attorney, Eaton Corporation, Cleveland, OH
  • Doneen McDowell, Plant Manager at Detroit Hamtramck Assembly & Brownstown Battery Assembly, General Motors, Detroit, MI
  • Diana Perreiah, President, Building and Construction Systems - North America, Alcoa, Atlanta, GA
  • Shontra Powell, VP Global Client Solutions, Johnson Controls, Inc., Milwaukee, WI
  • Catherine Werner, Environmental, Health and Safety Leader, General Electric, Louisville, KY
  • Gretchen Zierick, President, Zierick Manufacturing Corporation, Mt. Kisco, NY
“I look forward to working with these women as we continue to grow WiM’s community and campus chapters across the country, and to enhance the member benefits we offer to corporations, industry professionals and students,” concluded Grealis.

The new WiM Board will convene for the first time on August 20, 2014. Board member bios are available at www.womeninmanufacturing.org/about/board.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Texas Girls Camp Shows Careers in STEM

In this UT Dallas news post, we learned about an awesome new camp for girls, SMART College Camp, organized by Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Richland College and UT Dallas’ Science and Engineering Education Center (SEEC). The two week long camp gave twenty Dallas-area teenage girls an exciting look into STEM careers.

Campers started off  with a week at Richland College to explore the community college experience, followed by exposure to the four-year experience at UT Dallas during the second week.

SMART aims to help with college readiness and broaden the horizons of young girls, showing them the many pathways available for them to succeed.

“This camp gives the girls a flavor of STEM careers and introduces them to women who are successful scientists and engineers,” said Dr. Bernine Khan, director of SEEC and environmental engineer, in the article. “But integrated into it is how to get there, how to prepare for college, for both two-year and four-year institutions.”

The article quotes Lori Palmer, CEO of Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, saying that most the girls had never met a scientist.  So we love that this program allows young girls to see motivated STEM career women in action!

For example, the article reports that, at UT Dallas, the campers met to meet two female scientists, who got the girls into a white lab coat, gloves, and goggles and provided a hands-on instruction to nanotechnology and carbon nanotubes. Further, later in the week, the girls got an inside view of computer science, where UT professor Dr. Ryan McMahan equipped several volunteers with a head-mounted, 3-D display and a handheld controller device to “fly” through a computer-generated virtual world.

The article also explains that campers got the opportunity to hear from members of their Dallas community, including Dr. Shana Santos, a chemist for the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science, Dan Lepinski, an design engineer consultant from the North Texas Renewable Energy Group, and engineers from Dallas-based Texas Instruments.  In a very cool touch, Santos held an interactive crime scene “whodunit” workshop using chromatography, which examines trace evidence, and Lepinksi took campers through a virtual trip around the world to see how the US and other countries utilize solar power.

A quote from a young camper named Rickera who is thinking about a future career as a pediatrician says it all.  We’re learning stuff that can prepare us for the future.”

Go Campers, Go!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We Can Do It!

A Tuesday afternoon reminder that "We Can Do It!"

Source: Instagram User @Beyonce