The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Initiative honors the most influential women in the industrial workforce.

Manufacturing faces a serious skills gap. Part of this gap is the under representation of women in the industry.Women make up about 47 percent of the labor force, but only 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce. To help improve upon this, The Manufacturing Institute is promoting the role of women in manufacturing through the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Ahead initiative, which serves to mentor and recognize women while also leading research efforts tackling this important topic. The Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP Ahead initiative in 2012 to celebrate women in the manufacturing industry that are making a difference through advocacy, mentorship, engagement, promotion, and leadership. The STEP Ahead Awards highlight the achievements of real women in manufacturing on a national stage with a formal gala to celebrate their accomplishments. The 2016 STEP Ahead Awards will take place from April 20 through April 22, with the Awards Dinner Gala on the night of April 21 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. STEP Ahead calls upon these women to advocate for the manufacturing industry, mentor young women/girls with the National Girls Collaborative Project, engage an affinity group to generate ideas and share best practices, promote personal development, and lead as an ambassador for manufacturing education.
The Manufacturing Institute has announced the 2016 STEP Ahead Award Honorees and Emerging Leaders. These women have accomplished success within their companies and have proven to be leaders in the industry as a whole. This year, the Institute has also chosen to recognize a select few for the Emerging Leaders category – representing young women who are the future of the industry and have demonstrated                                                 exceptional accomplishments at just the beginning of their careers. The following 130 women will be honored at the 2016 STEP Ahead Awards on April 21 at the Ronald Reagan Building. Take a look at the amazing stories of these impressive women.  

2016 STEP Ahead Award Honorees & Emerging Leaders*

Miranda Aarons AGCO Corporation Sassa Akervall Akervall Technologies Inc. Marissa Badenhorst Chevron Corporation
Chelsea Becker* Baldor, ABB Group Megan Benadum* Alcoa Inc. Danielle Berndt* Alcoa Inc.
Victoria Biedenstein The Dow Chemical Company Teri Blumenthal Rockwell Automation Stacey Brown American Airlines
Erin Buchanan Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, NA Cheryl Bush Kennametal Inc. Christen Campbell* BASF Corporation
Jezabel Cardenas* Rockwell Automation Shelley Ryan Carlson Danfoss Kenyana Ceasar* Johnhson & Johnson Vision Care Inc.
Tiffany Chan* Nomiku Jaclyn Clark* AGCO Corporation Aundria Cohen* Metal Essence and Machining Training Solutions
Melissa Coon Harley-Davidson Motor Company Jennifer Crapisi Abbott Leanne Cunningham Brown-Forman Corporation
Denise DeLaune The Dow Chemical Company Lisa Dolan ALOM Linda Ehler Hartwig Inc.
Eileen Eick Vermeer Corporation Paulette Enfante Phoenix Mecano Inc. Lisa Faris Covestro LLC
Catherine Farris Newport News Shipbuilding Julianne Fatula* Covestro LLC Amelia Folkins* GLOBALFOUNDRIES
Rebecca Forbes* BWX Technologies, Inc. Janie Fowler Faurecia Carol “Lynn” Fox Baker Hughes Incorporated
Lori Frost IPAK, Inc. Regan Gallo Saint-Gobain Corporation and CertainTeed Corporation Jan Gansheimer Honda of America Manufacturing
Heather Gawne Stella-Jones Corporation Daniela Gonzalez* Baker Hughes Incorporated Pierrette Gorman Sandia National Laboratories
Dawn Grove Karsten Manufacturing Corporation Brigot Gunter Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. Amy Haigler The Procter & Gamble Company
Jennifer Hamilton Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc. Jenni Hanna Whirlpool Corporation Susan Hershelman Lord Corporation
Lisa Hirsh Accurate Box Company Loria Holden Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Americas, Inc. Janette Hostettler Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana Inc.
Grace Hsia* Warmilu Tonya Hutchison* Merck & Co., Inc. Becky Iaconis Exxel Outdoors, LLC
Zoe Jin Johnson Controls Power Solutions Toni Jones Jabil Circuit, Inc. Jodi Keller United Scrap Metal, Inc.
Randi Kelley PTC Inc. Casey Kerrigan OESH Shoes Paula Kilrain Ball Corporation
Lauryn King* Eaton Corporation Anna Klein* Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Staci Kroon Eaton Corporation
Marcia Kull Volvo Penta of the Americas Debra Leach GLOBALFOUNDRIES Hannah Lenoce* Marion Manufacturing Company
Lori Lents Solar Turbines Incorporated Keira Lombardo Smithfield Foods, Inc. Addie Marie Lordemann* 3M Company
Julie Lucas General Motors Robin Luedtke MillerCoors LLC Janeen Lyle The Procter & Gamble Company
Kathy Magee Lancer Corporation Barbara Manzi Manzi Metals Jeanenne “Jd” Marhevko Accuride Corporation
LaRuthie Holder Mason Shaw Industries Group Inc. Marcy McClanahan Ingersoll Rand Nicole McGlone-Santistevan BASF Corporation
Lori Melbostad Premier Marine, Inc. JoAnn Mitchell Sandvik Coromant Company Lisa Mondello SRC, Inc.
Heather Mosier Cooper Tire & Rubber Company Pamela Nielsen-Fernandez Sealed Air Corporation Tara Obrist Behlen Mfg. Co. Transportation
Sarah Olson Covestro LLC Barbara Parkerson Johnson & Johnson Vision Care Inc. DeAnna Patterson* Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, NA
Marion Pender ESCO Corporation Genoveva Perez ACE Clearwater Enterprises Michelle Piening Modine Manufacturing Company
Nadine Powell* Buffalo Manufacturing Works Stacy Putman INEOS Olefins & Polymers USA Katelyn Riha* Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
Aleida Rios BP America, Inc. Krista Roberts Noven Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Tchernavia Rocker Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Elizabeth Rolinski Johnson Controls Power Solutions Tina Rudinski* Lord Corporation Shari Ruelas Chevron Corporation
Samantha Ruof* The Procter & Gamble Company Aditi Saran Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Kim Seijo Shaw Industries Group Inc.
Nishi Shah* The Dow Chemical Company Rupa Shanmugam SoPark Corporation Jenna Shaw* Medtronic
Jan Shumate Eastman Chemical Company Megan Sias* The Dow Chemical Company Gem Skinner Polytron, Inc.
Elisabeth Smith Acutec Precision Machining Inc. Jennifer Snow-Boscolo Terex Aerial Work Platforms Tamara Somerville Posi Lock Puller, Inc.
Kristy Spackey Owens-Illinois, Inc. Renee Story GE Appliances Leslie Suffredini Alcoa Inc.
Erika Swartz* Shaw Industries Group Inc. Beth Takemoto* John Deere Harvester Works Kristi Thoman John Deere
Tara Tibbs Eli Lilly and Company Beth Tucker AGCO Corporation Natalie Vanderspiegel Solar Turbines Incorporated
Amanda Varricchio Pratt & Whitney Gina Vassallo Caterpillar Inc. Lisa Viazanko Faurecia
Mary Waldo CoLinx, LLC Susan Walsh Pratt & Whitney Anna Welch Baker Hughes Incorporated
Jennifer Wick Caterpillar Inc. Kristen Widunas Jabil Circuit, Inc. Nichole Williams* Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Amanda Wilson Medtronic Jennifer Wipf Merck & Co., Inc. Valerie J. Young 3M Company
Claire Yu USG Corporation    

*Asterisk indicates an Emerging Leader

Below is a tentative agenda for the 2016 program:

APRIL 20, 2016
STEP Ahead Honoree Welcome Reception and Bus Tour
Location: JW Marriott Washington, DC 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. Welcome Reception (Honorees and Emerging Leaders Only) Moonlight Bus Tour
APRIL 21, 2016
STEP Ahead Honoree Leadership Program (Honorees & Emerging Leaders Only)
Location: JW Marriott Washington, DC
9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Leadership Development Sessions
STEP Ahead Awards Reception and Dinner
Location: Ronald Reagan Building 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20004
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. Chairwoman’s VIP Reception Chairwoman’s Reception STEP Ahead Award Dinner Program
APRIL 22, 2016
STEP Ahead Honoree Leadership Program Continued and Hill Visit ( Honorees and Emerging Leaders Only)
Location: JW Marriott Washington, DC
9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Capitol Hill visit and Leadership Development Sessions
 Source: The Manufacturing Institute Check out this video on STEP
Manufacturing, Women in Manufacturing