STEP Ahead Awards

130 female honorees announced by Manufacturing Institute

Stacey Brown of American Airlines

Stacey Brown of American Airlines

In manufacturing news, The Manufacturing Institute has announced the 2016 STEP Ahead Award Honorees and Emerging Leaders for women in the manufacturing industry. STEP stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production.

Women account for 47 percent of the national workforce, but only 27 percent of the manufacturing quota. Honorees “have accomplished success within their companies and have proven to be leaders in the industry as a whole,” according to the Institute’s website. Many of them have compelling stories.

Jezabel Cardenas of Rockwell Automation

Jezabel Cardenas of Rockwell Automation

Take Stacey Brown, for instance, Senior Manager of Component Maintenance for American Airlines in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She volunteered for the Marine Corps and reached the rank of Sergeant four years later, “demonstrating strength of character and tremendous perseverance”.

There’s also Jezabel Cardenas, Environmental Health and Safety Manager at Rockwell Automation in Milwaukee, Wisc., who creates environmentally based activities for her community, such as “designing an Earth Day celebration, running a recycling campaign and securing tree donations”.

This year, the Institute has also chosen to recognize a select few for the Emerging Leaders category – representing young women “who are the future of the industry and have demonstrated exceptional accomplishments at just the beginning of their careers.”

Companies represented include Baldor Electric Motors, Dow Chemical, Eaton Corporation, Solar Turbines, Inc., Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Caterpillar, Inc., GE Appliances, Ingersoll-Rand, Danfoss, BASF, and 3M, among many others.

Chelsea Becker of Baldor Electric Company

Chelsea Becker of Baldor Electric Company

Baldor’s Chelsea Becker, Project Manager, is part of the company’s recently formed Project Management team. She is also a champion for community involvement, setting an example of how it can be done and encouraging others to participate. Chelsea is especially passionate about STEM-related education and has participated in many efforts including speaking at her high school and acting as a sponsor for the local university’s chapter of Society of Women Engineers. This year, in honor of National Manufacturing Day, Chelsea led a team of employees to plan, create and implement Manufacturing Day at Baldor for 30 participants from two local high schools. Look for her in the April issue of Electrical Apparatus.

Danfoss is represented by Shelley Ryan Carlson, Director, Global Manufacturing Engineering Technology. With more than 20 years of experience working for the Denmark-based pump manufacturer, Carlson “has been a consistent mentor throughout her career and is one of the most approachable leaders at Danfoss.” “Her door is always open – for those that report to her as well as employees from other functional areas. Through her mentoring skills, Shelley has developed many technical and cross-functional teams, and has contributed significantly in creating the future leaders of Danfoss.”

Shelley Ryan Carlson of Danfoss

Shelley Ryan Carlson of Danfoss

These 130 women will be honored at the 2016 STEP Ahead Awards on April 21 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., when winners will be announced.

STEP awards


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