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Encouraging women to pursue manufacturing careers

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Ingersoll Rand Foundation has donated US$ 135 000 to The Manufacturing Institute, a part of the National Association of Manufacturers, to further a leadership development program that addresses the industry’s need to increase the number of women leaders in US manufacturing.

A recent survey by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that approximately 80% of American manufacturing companies have a moderate to severe shortage of available qualified workers.

While making up approximately half of the total US workforce, women account for only a quarter of the manufacturing workforce. Hence, they represent manufacturing’s largest pool of untapped talent.

Jennifer McNelly of The Manufacturing Institute commented: “As the manufacturing industry faces a major skills gap that continues to widen each year, it only becomes more important to create programs that focus on growing the talent of women in STEM fields. Encouraging women with diverse backgrounds, experiences, talents and skillsets to pursue careers in manufacturing is vital to strengthening our industry and economy”.

In 2012, The Manufacturing Institute launched the Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead Initiative to promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership. As part of the STEP Ahead initiative, The Manufacturing Institute honours women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers through its annual STEP Award.

The Manufacturing Institute will use the Ingersoll Rand Foundation’s grant to create a more comprehensive leadership program in 2015, which includes networking, mentoring resources, webinars and online support.

Marcia Avedon, Senior Vice President of human resources, communications and corporate affairs for Ingersoll Rand, said: “The Manufacturing Institute aligns with Ingersoll Rand’s commitment to diversity and workforce development. We are proud to have had the STEP Ahead program honour seven Ingersoll Rand women leaders and we believe this grant will help increase and further develop female talent within the manufacturing industry”.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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