The Manufacturing Institute will award Suzanne Chevrier with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C suite.
“The women who we are celebrating represent the exciting career opportunities available in manufacturing,” said Natalie Schilling, 2018 chair of STEP Ahead and vice president of Human Resources at Arconic. “The STEP Ahead Award honors successful women in this industry for their significant achievements and the positive impact they have made on their companies, their communities and the industry as a whole.”
According to Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute, companies across the US agree there is a talent shortage in manufacturing. “Through the STEP Ahead Awards, we hope to take another step toward closing this gap by highlighting the stories of successful women in manufacturing and giving them a platform to encourage other women to join the industry and be role models for the next generation,” she said.
“I am thrilled to be recognized by an organization that values diversity and offers education and awareness to women in the workforce,” said award recipient Suzanne Chevrier. “I am passionate about manufacturing because it turns idea into products and problems into solutions. It is fascinating to work in an environment of creativity and innovation that is ever-changing and improving. Manufacturing offers a vast array of viable employment options with fantastic companies that are changing the world.”
Veronica Messersmith, Sandvik Coromant VP of Sales for the Western US and 2014 STEP Ahead Award recipient said, “Suzanne uses her 10 plus years of experience in the industry and her variety of roles (she started with Sandvik Coromant in Customer Service) to help other people develop the right strategies and techniques to move the manufacturing industry forward in their particular issue. Her ability to bring together various perspectives and build a path to move forward is very helpful in her cross functional responsibilities. She frequently takes the initiative to connect with newly appointed managers to help them build knowledge and competence in this area.”
The women being honored demonstrate what modern manufacturing careers are all about—making an impact in their communities with meaningful careers that offer significant opportunities for growth. The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent. In five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals—from peers in the industry to school-aged children.
Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women totaled about 47% of the US labor force in 2016, but only 29% of the manufacturing workforce. Not only does the STEP Ahead initiative bolster manufacturing’s attractiveness to women, it also plays an important role in improving the perception of careers in the industry among younger generations.
On April 10, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.