Louisville, KY – March 1, 2022 – The Manufacturing Institute announced it will award Leifje Dighton, plant manager, Decatur Plant Operations at GE Appliances, a Haier company, with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. The STEP Ahead Awards recognize outstanding leadership and accomplishments of women at all levels in the manufacturing industry.

“Leifje is an extremely talented leader who has flourished in multiple roles, both inside and outside of manufacturing while at GE Appliances,” said Bill Good, vice president for manufacturing at GE Appliances. “We’re thrilled she is receiving this recognition.”

Leifje has provided exceptional leadership for 23 years at GE Appliances. Her past roles as the Senior Director of EHS, Sustainability & Advanced Industrial Engineering, Director of LEAN Sourcing, and Plant Manager make her an excellent choice for this award. Leifje also spent 15 years of her career at Roper Corporation in LaFayette, Georgia as an Operations Manager, Advanced Manufacturing Leader, and Material Flow Manager. She serves on the Board of Directors as the Chairperson for the Kentucky chapter of Women in Manufacturing, is a mentor and recruiting committee member for Auburn Engineering 100 Women Strong, a committee member for Louisville’s Impact100, a champion for GE Appliances’ Women in Operations, and is the GE Appliances Ambassador for boom!. Leifje also leads the Inclusion & Diversity efforts for Supply Chain at GE Appliances.

Leifje is a transformational leader who focuses on the growth and contributions of those around her for the success of individuals and the business. As a result, her teams are high performing, dedicated, and loyal to both Leifje and the company. Her contributions drive long-term business results, as well as bolster the community and culture, both inside and outside the organization. Her leadership in our diversity and inclusion efforts has provided momentum in reshaping our manufacturing leadership team and culture. Leifje is broadly respected across all of GE Appliances, the broader manufacturing discipline, and in the Louisville community.

Leifje and her husband currently live in Louisville, Kentucky and have two children who attend the University of Kentucky. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, gardening, and college football and basketball. As an Alabama native and Auburn graduate, she loves to cheer for the Tigers.


About the STEP Ahead Awards

The 2022 ceremony marks the 10th year of the STEP Ahead Awards, celebrating a decade of women who have “shattered the glass” in manufacturing. The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Initiative seeks to close the gender gap in the manufacturing industry and empower women through recognition of their accomplishments and leadership. Honorees and Emerging Leaders are also encouraged to mentor upcoming female leaders in the industry and support and inspire the next generation.

The Manufacturing Institute has announced that, for the first time in the award’s history, STEP Ahead Alumnae will attend the April ceremony, providing honorees and emerging leaders the opportunity to interact with a vast network of women in manufacturing.

On April 28th, the Manufacturing Institute will recognize 100 Honorees and 30 Emerging Leaders 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

At GE Appliances, a Haier company, we come together to make "good things, for life." We're creators, thinkers and makers who believe anything is possible and there’s always a better way. We’re a company powered by our people, made stronger through our diversity — allowing us to grow closer than ever before to our owners, anticipate their needs and enhance their lives. Since 1907, we’ve built innovative, quality products that are trusted in half of all U.S. homes. We sell appliances under the Monogram®, Café™, GE Profile™, GE®, Haier and Hotpoint brands. Our products include refrigerators, freezers, cooking products, dishwashers, washers, dryers, wine & beverage centers, air conditioners, small appliances, water filtration systems and water heaters. To learn more about our company, brands, Corporate Citizenship efforts, economic impact, and working for GE Appliances, visit geappliancesco.com.