The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), announced the recipients for the 2020 STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead awards, which honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers across all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C-suite.
Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee explains, “Closing the gender gap in the industry will go a long way toward closing the skills gap, empowering more women to join manufacturing’s ranks and lifting the industry as a whole. The STEP Ahead Awards provide a platform to honor role models and motivate them to encourage the next generation of women in the manufacturing industry. The women being recognized are industry leaders—and inspirations to the women and girls who will follow their example and pursue careers in manufacturing.”
Among the 130 honorees is Stihl Inc.’s Lorraine Amesbury Holder, vice president of operations. Prior to Amesbury Holder’s promotion to vice president of operations in 2018, she served as the director of manufacturing for Stihl for 10 years. Passionate about skilled trades and educating others about the viable opportunities available in the industry, she was featured in Power Equipment Trade’s popular “Five Minutes With…” column (October 2018) where she told readers, “You are only limited by your imagination.”
Amesbury Holder’s view of manufacturing falls directly in line with 2020 STEP Ahead Chair and BASF Corporation President of Market and Business Development North America Teressa Szelest, who believes, “There is an evolution of the manufacturing workforce as more women enter into leadership roles, bringing innovative ideas and transforming how we work and increase productivity.”