Women in Manufacturing

Recently, I've noticed that I've been spending some quality time (unplanned) with a bunch of great women in manufacturing--from machine tool and cutting tool company representatives and marketing/agency contacts to mold shop owners and association leaders. All of whom are women in positions of power and influence and who share the same passion for manufacturing as I do. During a trip last week I learned about a "Women in Manufacturing" group, so I thought I'd pass on the information.

According to its website, Women in Manufacturing began in November 2009 with a small group of Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) members who gathered at the FABTECH tradeshow in Chicago to discuss best practices, business conditions and unique challenges and needs as minorities in the field. This intimate group subsequently met in 2010 and 2011 before broadening its scope to network with women in all areas and industries within manufacturing.

The group arrived at the concept of a women in manufacturing meeting and launched the Women in Manufacturing SUMMIT 2011, where 130 women gathered in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2012 it was held in October Milwaukee, Wisc. and grew to 200 female manufacturing leaders.

This moved the group to expand its offerings to include additional year-round networking opportunities, mentoring programs, quarterly e-newsletters and an online directory.

Its mission: Encourage the engagement of women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry and want to share perspectives, gain cutting edge manufacturing information, improve leadership and communication skills, participate in sponsoring programs and network with industry peers. WiM is an organization that focuses on the support, retention and advancement of women in the manufacturing industry.

Summit 2013 is October 22-23 in Dearborn, Mich.