HAMPTON, Va., -  Today, The Manufacturing Institute and Alcoa Foundation hosted STEP Forward: Hampton Roads, a networking reception for manufacturing women to discuss challenges and opportunities, best practices, and connect with their peers and learn from each other’s successes. While women make up about 47 percent of the labor force, they only represent 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce. The Manufacturing Institute and Alcoa Foundation are committed to improve and tackle this glaring statistic through the STEP Forward series.

STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Forward brings all levels women together, from the factory floor to the C-suite, with speakers considered to be role models to provide opportunities for participants to connect with other talented women. The attendees heard advice and key takeaways from 2015 STEP Ahead Honoree Mary Perkinson, supervisor, Crane Engineering and Quality at Newport News Shipbuilding; 2016 STEP Ahead Honoree Marcia Kull, vice president, Marine Sales - North America at Volvo Penta of the Americas; and Anna Gamache, senior industrial engineer at Alcoa Inc.

The Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP Ahead initiative to honor and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership. STEP Forward brings the STEP Ahead initiative regionally into the community.

The STEP Forward event took place at the Hampton Roads Convention Center from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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