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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, 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.

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.