LOUISVILLE, Ky.—March 4, 2019—The Manufacturing Institute announced it will award Catherine Werner, global EHS leader at GE Appliances, with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C-suite.
“With passion, grit and determination, Catherine has led tremendous positive change both at work and in the community,” said Bill Good, vice president of manufacturing at GE Appliances. “Catherine is a role model who lives our company values daily as she and her team are determined to make a difference for our employees.”
“Women are the single largest pool of untapped potential talent within the manufacturing industry, and we must continue to do everything we can to promote gender diversity within this field,” said Keira Lombardo, chair of STEP Ahead and executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods. “The STEP Ahead Awards program not only recognizes the incredible women in manufacturing who have an impact on the daily lives of people all over the world, it sends an incredibly powerful message to the next generation of female leaders. The manufacturing industry offers innovative and fulfilling careers in which women can thrive.”
“Providing more opportunities for women in manufacturing is more than just the right thing to do. At a time when manufacturers face a workforce crisis, and with women still constituting less than a third of manufacturing workers, it’s clearly critical to the future of our industry and the economy,” said Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute. “The Manufacturing Institute STEP Ahead Awards—which provide today’s female leaders in manufacturing the recognition they deserve while simultaneously elevating role models who can inspire future generations to join them—are an important element of our commitment to helping foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by developing current leaders and engaging future ones.”
The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent. In five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals—from peers in the industry to school-aged children.
Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women totaled 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. Not only does the STEP Ahead initiative bolster manufacturing’s attractiveness to women, it also plays an important role in improving the perception of careers in the industry among younger generations.
On April 11, the Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Award at a reception in Washington, D.C.
The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.
About GE Appliances
Today, GE Appliances are in 50 percent of all U.S. homes and our business is committed to serving every family in the country. We are a purpose-rooted and passion-driven organization that believes there is always a better way. We sell products under the Monogram®, CAFÉ, GE Profile™, GE®, Haier and Hotpoint brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, air conditioners and water filtration systems. For more information, visit www.geappliances.com.
About the Manufacturing Institute
The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent.
For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.