FLATE'S Ongoing Support to Increase Enrollment and Retention of Women in Manufacturing Careers

While women have come a long way in the past 100 years, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in the quest for equality in the workforce. FLATE continues its efforts supporting organizations, programs, conferences, workshops, and venues in Florida and nationwide, that can help empower the next generation of young women and end gender inequality in America.

On February 11th, FLATE, NSF Center of Excellence in Advanced Technological Education, presented “Women in Manufacturing (WIM) Workshop-Panel-“Looking to the future, Skills Needed for the 2020 Global Economy”. This Industry-Panel workshop, hosted by St. Petersburg College (SPC) in Clearwater, FL, focused on WIM in the future workforce, discussed what we can do to help today’s female students, presented the skills and mindset that companies require in employees of today and tomorrow.  There were 27 attendees who joined this great event, all with a common interest in promoting manufacturing careers to women. Among participants who attended this event were educators, recruiters, counselors, and advisors. All had the opportunity to interact with a panel of four females manufacturing professionals, share current female recruitment practices and engaged in interesting discussion and best practices to develop and strengthen both existing and potential strategic action plans for recruiting and retaining females in manufacturing career pathways as well as helping to secure them in the workplace.

Based on a post-survey conducted by FLATE, over 90% of participants who responded to the survey (13 out of 27) with high ratings of very good and/or excellent and their satisfaction with the overall professional development value provided during the “Women in Manufacturing (WIM) Panel-Looking to the future, Skills needed for the 2020 Global Economy”. 100% of responses agreed that they learned about strategies currently used by industries to encourage new employees to be “innovative/creative” in their work. Approximately 85% of the responses also indicated that they learned something new about the current situation, the importance of women in manufacturing, the skills needed for the 2020 global economy,  how innovation and/or creativity blend into some Florida companies’ culture and/or business models are planning to use the information presented, and that they will recommend this type of workshop to other colleagues.
Special thank you to our honored panelists: Stephanie Barker-Jabil, Barbara Biller-Intellitech, Allison Hogan-Bausch & Lomb, Megan Meiers-Monin.
We captured several comments from attendees who said: “Well done. Maybe the panelist could share about how many women work in key positions in their companies.”: “I really liked participating and will attend more. The information and support were very good.” and, “Great experience and insight.

Other Events

February 7th:  The Women in Manufacturing, WiM, organization visited Monin’s Flavor Innovation Center facility in Clearwater. FLATE welcomed the 16 women representing the National Women in Manufacturing Association (WiM).  The delegation was on visiting manufacturing sites across the county as part of their national leadership meeting.  WiM is committed to supporting women in the manufacturing sector and firmly believe that mentorship and community-building will help attract and retain female talent. For more information visit womeninmanufacturing.org.

February 15-16:  SWE Local (Society of Women Engineers’ Regional conference) convened over 200 local and regional participants at the Tampa Convention Center. The busy conference provided a number of professional development sessions, student poster competition, plenary panels, awards banquet, and a very busy Job Fair on Saturday afternoon. Approximately 30 companies from all over the country participated looking for engineering and manufacturing talent on Saturday.  Dr. Marilyn Barger, FLATE Executive Director, participated on the Plenary Panel, “No More Checking the Box: Cultivating Inclusion” during which panelists explored the many challenges of developing workforce diversity, inclusion and belonging cultures in the workplace. The audience provided many questions that sparked good conversations and highlighted best practices in both education and industry. FLATE also celebrated the award of one its longtime partner and friend, Ramona Anand who works tirelessly to support young women in STEM at her home institution, Loraine County Community College in Ohio.

On March 6, MACF (Manufacturing Association of Central Florida) joined Valencia College's Advanced Manufacturing Training Center for a "Women in Manufacturing STEPAhead Pledge signing" at their facility in Kissimmee. The pledge, instituted by the Manufacturing Institute in Washington D.C. encourages women in manufacturing to promote the importance of a diverse workforce in the manufacturing industry and commit to encouraging women into manufacturing and helping them succeed through a variety of actions, including advocating for the manufacturing industry; mentoring young women/girls; developing or joining an affinity group to generate ideas and share best practices; being an ambassador for manufacturing education; or promoting personal development. 71 attendees signed the STEPAhead pledge to signify our commitment to support and encourage women in manufacturing. According to the latest Deloitte study, only 29% of our manufacturing workforce is female. We can do better!  Anyone can sign the pledge here! 

Coming Soon - on March 22nd 50th Anniversary Signature Event: Celebrating Action in Leadership: Women Who Make a Difference, Hillsborough Community College, Brandon Campus. The goal of this event is to promote and celebrate seasoned and emerging female leaders who make a difference through professional and volunteer-oriented contributions in their local community. This event includes concurrent sessions and a lunchtime keynote address by Betty Viamontes— entrepreneur, Vice Chair of the HCC Board of Trustees member, and author of Waiting on Zapote Street (winner of 2018 Latino Books Into Movies Award, Drama TV Series, awarded by the Latino Film Institute).  FLATE will be participating with an interactive workshop “Past and present women in STEM and the history of HCC Brandon Engineering program”. For more information about this event contact Dr. Nancee Sorenson, Brandon Campus President (nsorenson@hccfl.edu) or click here 

For more details about these events, please visit www.fl-ate.org,  or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger at barger@fl-ate.org.

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