Machinedesign 8090 Womeninmanufacturing 02 02 0

Females and Males in Manufacturing Flock to Minneapolis

Aug. 19, 2015
Females (and males) gather to tackle the issues that face women in manufacturing.

The #HeForShe campaign was introduced this year by the organization, UN Women, to encourage men to speak up for gender equality. So far over 400,000  men around the world have taken the pledge, but I wonder how many of these men are in manufacturing.

I've been to over 20 industry trade shows in the past few years and not once was there a line for the women's bathroom. Actually, that doesn't do it justice -- very rarely was there more than 30 women out of crowd of 500 or more. This is frustrating because everyone in manufacturing is talking about succession and STEM, yet you'll only see males at these shows and most of them are over 40 years of age.

For my fellow women in this industry and the men that want to see more women in this industry, I urge you to check out the group Women in Manufacturing (WiM). WiM works to level the gender playing field and is now hosting its 5th annual Women in Manufacturing Summit. This year’s event boasts 300+ female (and male) manufacturing professionals gathering in Minneapolis, MN on Wednesday through Friday, September 23 – 25th, 2015.

In attendance will be professionals with roles ranging from the shop floor to the C-suite. The conversations will not only cover issues about being a female in this industry, but will also cover important issues facing the industry.

Men, if you don't know how women view manufacturing you should probably attend or send a woman from your company. If you send a woman from your company, make sure to have a conversation with her about what went on at the event.  I say this because powerful issues and solutions come to surface when more than one woman in manufacturing gets together. You will want to hear these issues which more than likely will bring a competitive advantage to your business. 

  • Five Plant Tours: Medtronic, Caterpillar, H.B. Fuller, Pentair, and Ultra Machining Company.
  • Over 15 speakers, including:
    • Cynthia Arnold, Chief Technology Officer, The Valspar Corporation
    • Pamela Wiseman, Sr. Director Supply Chain Planning, Medtronic
    • Cheryl Thompson, Powertrain Global Tooling & Gauging Manager, Ford Motor Company
    • Cindy Slubowski, Vice President, Head of Manufacturing, Zurich North America
    • Victoria Holt, President and CEO, Proto Labs
  • Networking: Rub elbows with the women and men that are leveling the playing field for females in MFG.
  • Intimate Conversations: Small circle, moderated conversations will be hosted on Thursday afternoon to address industry-specific topics.  

Registration is $799 for nonmembers, or feel free to use this discount page to get $100 off non-member registration.

For more information about big ideas, technology, and problem solving -- follow me at @BigIdeaEngineer or @WomenFix.

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