A BASF leader in manufacturing was among 130 women recognized nationally through The Manufacturing Institute’s eighth annual STEP Ahead Awards. Focusing on science, technology, engineering and production, the program recognizes women who exemplify leadership within their companies.
BASF employee Amanda Hodges, a process engineer in Chattanooga, received the STEP Ahead Emerging Leader award.
The recognition is part of the STEP Women’s Initiative, which aims to shrink the gender gap in manufacturing and increase innovation.
“Manufacturing is a place where ideas become reality. I thrive in an environment where creativity is encouraged and the results are tangible,” Hodges says. “I’m honored to be part of an industry which continues to change our world.”
Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent, says BASF in a news release. Female employees totaled 47% of the U.S. labor force in 2018 but only 29% of the manufacturing workforce.
“STEP Women’s Initiative is a grassroots movement of manufacturers dedicated to overcoming the shared challenges facing manufacturers today. The biggest challenge continues to be the growing workforce crisis,” says Carolyn Lee, executive director of the Manufacturing Institute.
“Through a collective effort, the STEP Ahead Awards are dedicated to fostering a 21st century manufacturing workforce that gives women the recognition and support they deserve. By honoring current leaders, we’re building and elevating the role models that can inspire the next generation – and we’re building the networks for women to have support in their industry and do even more.”
BASF sponsored the annual awards ceremony, which was held virtually on Sept. 24.
Source: BASF Corporation