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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.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We Can Do It!

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

Source: Instagram User @Beyonce

WiM Survey Results to be Unveiled at SUMMIT 2014

Here's something cool for your Tuesday - WiM and Plante Moran are happy to announce the launch of a new survey to gain insight into the future of women in the manufacturing sector.

The results of this survey will offer critical insight into retaining and advancing women in the manufacturing and will be unveiled at our 4th annual WiM SUMMIT on September 29-October 1 in Schaumburg, IL..

Some aspects of the survey include: the perceptions young women entering the workforce have about manufacturing, how today’s female career aspirations are aligned with the opportunities available in manufacturing, whether organizations are successfully integrating programs and strategies to advance and retain women, and more.

Intellitrends, an independent market research firm, will conduct the survey and provide data analysis.  Data will be collected in July and August from three groups - young women ranging in age from 17-24, WiM members, and a larger audience of professionals in manufacturing companies.

Here's what our director, Allison Grealis, had to say about the research - “We are thrilled to partner with Plante Moran on this important study which we believe will strengthen the case that women are good for manufacturing and manufacturing is good for women.  Careers in manufacturing offer women flexibility, competitive salaries, challenging assignments, and the unique ability to engineer and ‘make’ the things each of us relies on daily. Our study is intended to provide insights and advice on how companies can more successfully attract, retain and advance women and deliver advice to women on how to launch and navigate careers in this industry.”

Want to get the results first?  Register for our SUMMIT now.  As if you needed another reason!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Plant Tours at WiM SUMMIT 2014

One of the highlights of each WiM SUMMIT is the opportunity to visit area manufacturing plants.  We've got some great tours lined up for this year.  Space goes fast so check out the list below and register today!

This year's plant tours include:

Bag Makers, Inc.  A leading imprinted bag supplier that specializes in non-woven polypropylene, paper, plastic and polyester bags. Founder Maribeth Sandford started the successful woman-owned business in 1980 to provide quality printing, fast service and lower minimum orders for imprinted bags.

Motorola. The Schaumburg site is small, taking care of manufacturing required to be done in the US and primarily our ASTRO radio business. The ASTRO products are a public safety device, two way radio, used by Police, Firemen, full city and states for secure communications.

S&C Electric Company.  One of the largest manufacturers located in Chicago. The 47-acre Chicago campus is S&C’s primary manufacturing and research center, and like every S&C location, it is working daily to provide products and services to help deliver electric power efficiently and reliably.

Colleges are Working to Engage Women in STEM Fields and We Like That Mission

In a new U.S. News & World Report article, writer Delece Smith-Barron reports that colleges are working to engage women and minority students in STEM fields.

The Association of American Colleges and Universities, she writes, has announced 20 schools for participation in their Teaching to Increase Diversity and Equity in STEM program, ​known as TIDES.

The article quotes Vice President for Undergraduate Education Kelly Mack saying that the program, “aims to increase the number of women and underrepresented minority students who are supported by faculty members that make them feel empowered.”

In the article, Mack says, “when underrepresented minorities​ and women see people who resemble them teaching science, technology, engineering or math, the experience can be encouraging."

Another great point in the piece comes from Penny Rheingans, the director for the Center for Women in Technology at the University of Maryland—Baltimore County.  She says that prospective STEM students should look for schools with structures in place to support women like networking opportunities, mentoring services, seminars, and living-learning residence communities.  “If students struggle in class and have few peers and faculty that look like them, it's easy for them to think, maybe I'm not supposed to be here, either," she says.

We love this article because it reminds us of our own mission here at WiM.  We also believe that building a support system which allows women in STEM fields to find role models similar to themselves with help us achieve the goal of attracting and retaining more women in manufacturing.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Military Veteran Points to "Pipeline Problem" to Explain Gender Gap in Military, Manufacturing and Tech

We know that women are underrepresented in manufacturing and many other industries. And we know that the first step to solving a problem is understanding how and why it exists.  So we're always reading articles with different theories to explain the gender gap in sectors.

This week, we've got a "pipeline problem" explanation from Former Army Capitan Holly Mosack.

Mosack writes in this Forbes article that a “pipeline problem” is the disconnect between potential female employees and companies. It stems from an inability to market an industry’s benefits, a failure to highlight the skills of those seeking employment, and preconceived attitudes society has of certain industries as “a boy’s world.”

To Mosack, manufacturing, technology, and the military are the three industries most greatly affected by this problem - and, importantly, are three industries that could work together to solve it.

Mosack, who joined the technology sector following military service, now forms recruitment programs for veterans at Advanced Technology services in Peoria, Illinois. She states in her article that women coming from military backgrounds are an untapped resource for increasing the amount of women in the manufacturing and technology sectors.

“The manufacturing-military recruitment model may hold powerful insights for tech and other industries that aim to increase female representation in the workforce,” Mosack says.

Mosack points out that female veterans should be particularly attractive to technology and manufacturing sectors, as they have already demonstrated the success in an atmosphere dominated by men.

“Women need to view underrepresentation not as a bad omen, but as an opportunity. Being one of few, women also stand out for promotions.”

Mosack closed her article by pointing out, as we often do, that it’s time to lose the “that’s a boy’s job” attitude if there is going to be a change. She suggests that the “pipelines” to women need to extend to young girls, guiding them to new opportunities.

“At some age, girls hear that they shouldn’t fix cars, program iPhone apps or jump out of military aircraft,” Mosack says. “ It’s on each of us to reflect on the conscious and unconscious signals we send to young women.”

Read Holly Mosack’s complete article here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WiM SUMMIT 2014...Here We Go!

Our 4th annual Women in Manufacturing SUMMIT is coming up and we couldn't be more excited!

This year's event will be held will be held in Schaumburg, IL September 29 – October 1, 2014.

The 2014 SUMMIT will build on the tremendous success of our last three events.  The agenda is geared toward women who have chosen careers in manufacturing and want to share perspectives and network with others in the industry.

The upcoming SUMMIT is expected to attract more than 200 professional women in manufacturing with experience from production to CEO-level.  The conference offers participants numerous personal and professional development opportunities with highlighted programming content featuring leadership engagement, project management, negotiation skills, risk management, lean manufacturing, product liability and networking.

The SUMMIT format includes keynote speakers, panel discussions, professional development tracks, a networking lunch and plant tours.

Attendees at previous SUMMITs have enjoyed the feeling of commrodery and suppport at the events and left feeling energized and motivated.  One participant told us, "I feel safer here, more authentic and more relaxed being myself and sharing my thoughts."


Learn more about our confirmed speakers and our planned agenda and register now.

We are grateful to our host committee and the many sponsors who make our SUMMIT possible.  See how you can join our sponsors here.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Women in Manufacturing Signs on as MFG Day Sponsor

We're pleased to announce that we are joining in MFG DAY this year as a sponsor!

MFG Day, scheduled for October 3, 2014, provides a special opportunity to address common misperceptions about manufacturing.  At local-level events around the country, young people and their parents as well as students and other community members will tour local manufacturing facilities and learn what manufacturing really is — and isn’t. 

We are especially glad to be a part of MFG Day because we believe events like this empower manufacturers to help future generations thrive by attracting new workers to the sector.

We know that the skills gap in manufacturing today can not be solved by focusing on only men, on only half of the workforce.  We know that bringing women into manufacturing facilities will show them that manufacturing is a good place for them.