Group honors two female industry executives

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The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 female honorees and emerging leaders with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award, including Chaparral and Robalo Boats vice president Ann Baldree and Regulator Marine president Joan Maxwell.

In 2015, STEP Ahead launched Emerging Leaders awards — honoring women who are employed in the manufacturing industry and have made significant contributions and excelled early in their career.

“These 130 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” The Manufacturing Institute president Jennifer McNelly said in a statement. “We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.”

Maxwell, who is also chairwoman of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and Baldree, who is also a member of the NMMA Boat Manufacturer Division board of directors, are among the honorees.

The STEP Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in manufacturing through recognition, research and leadership for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent.

A recent survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that 80 percent of American manufacturing companies have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. Contributing to this gap is the underrepresentation of women in the industry.

Although women make up about 50 percent of the labor force, that number is only about 25 percent in the manufacturing labor force.

On March 26 The Manufacturing Institute will recognize the recipients of the STEP Awards at a gala in Washington, D.C. The STEP Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.

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