MFG Women

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Promoting women in STEM

  • 1.  Promoting women in STEM

    Posted 07-10-2018 14:57
    We know that women are largely unrepresented in the manufacturing workforce. I would be interested to hearwhat you and/or your company are doing to promote women in STEM and manufacturing? It's equally as important to reach the next generation to build a talent pipeline. Do you have outreach programs with local middle and high schools?

    Aundria Cohen
    Machining Training Solutions


  • 2.  RE: Promoting women in STEM

    Posted 07-11-2018 11:26
    At my previous company, we had an outreach program through the Manufacturing Institute's Dream It Do It program.  We hosted a manufacturing day event and attended career fairs at the local high school, took part in a massive career fair for 8th graders in the north half of our state, and helped with the local middle school's robotics team.  Somethings we realized is that when a woman was in the room/booth, girls were more likely to come over.  Maybe it made them feel more comfortable? Our team was about 50/50 men/women so we always tried to keep a diverse group for each day of our events.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that just showing up and being an example is a huge first step to getting girls involved.

    Nichole Williams
    Quality& Continuous Improvement Manager
    Innocor Inc
    Baldwyn MS

  • 3.  RE: Promoting women in STEM

    Posted 07-12-2018 11:35
    ​Nicole makes a great point, just showing up to these events is a great first step. Something else I have been doing is volunteering as a guest speaker at Girl Scouts events. The girls were fascinated to hear what I had to say about manufacturing and leadership. They thought it was "cool" to have "girl power" at my facility.

    Traci Earls

  • 4.  RE: Promoting women in STEM

    Posted 07-12-2018 12:46
    ​I would agree with Ms. Nichole Williams. The organization I work for has groups that go into the schools, all levels. We all have different recruiting groups and strategies. I am a welding foreman and I have been personally going to the community college welding classes, or my kids career days, etc. and I always see the girls eyes light up when they see me or when we get to have some conversation. I have recently pursued some of endeavors outside of work that put me in a lot of situations with female audiences and I am hoping this will help with changing the perceptions. I am very willing to go to areas that is not the "norm" to speak to women. I especially reach out to the local shelters because I was living in one when I got my job here. There are talented individuals in these places that just ended up in a rough situation. My outside "endeavor" is the Mrs. America Pageant Organization and I am hoping the small part I have will eventually snowball and end up reaching lots of women who are unaware of Manufacturing opportunities!

    Kelli Gilliam
    Apprentice Craft Instructor/Welding Foreman
    Huntington Ingalls Industries

  • 5.  RE: Promoting women in STEM

    Posted 07-16-2018 10:02

    I agree it's important to promote women in STEM and manufacturing.  As everyone is indicating – "if she can see it, she can be it".  For Aundria's question on what I/my company is doing to promote women in STEM and manufacturing, my company created a website to tell the stories of diverse engineers and engineering with the goal to show all students that they belong in engineering and help them chart their successful career.  We are starting with engineering, but we want to then expand to all of STEM.  The site is based on talking to over 200 educators, professors, researchers, and engineers and will be piloted in three high school districts this fall.  Students will learn about (i.e., re-picture) the different types of people that are engineers and what type of work engineers do.  Before being involved in this, I had no idea how much engineering and STEM was involved in manufacturing!  FYI, the website is  We want to get more stories of diverse engineers involved in manufacturing and add more the stories about what goes into manufacturing projects


    Lynn Mayo
    Co-Founder & CEO
    RePicture Engineering

  • 6.  RE: Promoting women in STEM

    Posted 07-17-2018 11:12
    My company sponsors a STEAM event each year (art was included) hosted by Girl Scouts & Oklahoma School of Science and Math. We have a hands-on class where we show the kids how a product is designed, prototyped, tested, manufactured, and marketed. The kids love to see the modeling software with FEA tests, as well as the 3D printer in operation. We've simulated sand castings and a wind tunnel and also dot peen an aluminum shape with their initials as a souvenir. We have ages from kindergarten through high school attend.

    Lorrie Acord
    Technical Services Manager
    Pelco Products Inc.
    Edmond OK
    (405) 340-3434