I’ve been covering manufacturing for over 20 years. During that tenure I’ve always struggled with the concept of highlighting women in business. On one hand, I feel we shouldn’t place women in their own category – their work shouldn’t have to have a modifier. But the other hand tells me that we must champion women in manufacturing and specifically engineering for no other reason than to show young girls that this is a viable and lucrative career choice.
A friend of mine, Alan Chmiel -- vice president of Cleveland-based Zin Technologies, spoke to my Rotary club about the importance of STEM education. He is an engineer in the aerospace industry and is responsible for recruiting and hiring engineers at his company. The two things that resonated with me during his talk: The overall shortage of engineers and the extreme shortage of women engineers (only 20% of aerospace engineers are women). While his stats are specific to his industry, they are typical of engineering in general.
To help shine a light on the importance of careers in science, technology, engineering and math – and to recognize that women play a vital role in industrial organizations, Chemical Processing’s publishing parent, Putman Media, is launching a recognition program: Influential Women in Manufacturing.
Through March 31, 2018, all of Putman Media's titles - Chemical Processing, Control, Control Design, Food Processing, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Plant Services, and Smart Industry - will be accepting nominations of women leading the charge for industrial innovation and manufacturing leadership in 2018.
Nominations of women at all levels of manufacturing organizations, from the plant-floor to C-suite, are encouraged as we look to highlight the multitude of ways in which women are effecting change in the manufacturing and industrial production sectors.
We are looking to honor women who are accomplished manufacturing professionals who have "moved the needle" within their organization and/or led industrial advancement through their participation in manufacturing industry trade groups. We are seeking leaders who promote the work of and opportunities for other women in manufacturing.
Peers and business associates are encouraged to submit nominations. Self-nominations are accepted.
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor. Through the years she has met and interviewed many influential women in manufacturing. She will be searching through her dusty Rolodex to encourage them to participate in this program. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.