CLEVELAND, -  Today, The Manufacturing Institute, Arconic Foundation, and MAGNET hosted STEP Forward: Ohio, a networking event 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 Arconic 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 of 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 Leslie Suffredini, Product Engineering and Quality Manager, Engineering, Arconic; Dalithia Smith, Vice President Human Resources, Americas Welding, The Lincoln Electric Company; Bethann O’Malley, PMP, Sr. Manager, Consumer Foods TSO, The J.M. Smucker Company; and Betsy Engels, Vice President, Commercial, Tata Steel.

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 Embassy Suites Cleveland – Rockside from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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