STEP Awardees from Florida Puts Spotlight on Women in Manufacturing

Manufacturing has long held a reputation as a career pathway predominantly for men. While this stereotype still
holds true in certain aspects, women according to a Forbes report are “chipping at the glass ceiling.” Indeed, there is increasing presence and influence of women in manufacturing which is “helping fill a critical skills gap shortage.” These shifting parameters have permitted women to emerge as leaders in manufacturing and also get recognized for their contribution in changing the DNA structure of a future workforce.

Of note is the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Award program. The Award recognizes women, across the nation, for their contributions towards excellence in manufacturing education and training. The STEP Ahead initiative was conceived to promote and recognize the role women have demonstrated in Science, Technology, Engineering and Production excellence in the manufacturing industry through Recognition, Research, and Education/Leadership. In addition to recognizing women in manufacturing, the STEP Ahead initiative also empowers woman in manufacturing to continue to develop their own leadership and that of the next generation.

This year the Institute recognized a select few under the “emerging leaders category” which represents accomplished young women who are the future of the industry. Of the 130 women who were recognized and honored at this year’s STEP Ahead Award ceremony, 10 honorees were from Florida. Many of these women work for companies that work closely with FLATE. We congratulate all the 130 women, particularly the 10 from Florida who received this special recognition from the Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C. in March.

2015 STEP Ahead awardees from Florida were:

Last year out of a total of 160 honorees nationwide, 19 women from 12 Florida-based companies received the STEP Ahead award. In 2013—the inaugural year for the Award—10 of the 122 honorees were from Florida. FLATE congratulates all the women receiving this award,” said Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE. The Florida-based NSF ATE Center of Excellence will continue to promote the STEP Ahead award program in Florida. “These Awardees serve as strong role models who can inspire younger generation of women and girls to become pioneers in STEM and manufacturing” Barger said.  

For more information on the STEP Ahead for women in manufacturing visit, or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, executive director of FLATE at For a follow-up, in-depth story on some of the awardees, stay tuned for the upcoming edition of the FLATE Focus.