Four women, who help guide SME in advancing manufacturing and attracting future generations, will be honored tonight at the Women in Manufacturing STEP Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. The honorees serve on the SME and the SME Education Foundation Board of Directors.
The STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Award is given by The Manufacturing Institute to 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.
“In light of the scarcity of women in manufacturing, SME is pleased to see these women honored for their leadership skills,” said Michael F. Molnar, FSME, CMfgE, PE, 2014 SME president. “We hope their stories will inspire girls and boys to discover
Manufacturing faces a serious skills gap. Contributing to this gap is the underrepresentation of women in the industry. While women make up approximately 50 percent of the labor force, that number is only about 25 percent in manufacturing. In addition, too many young women begin in STEM degrees, but leave those paths despite their good academic standing, often citing uncomfortable classroom experiences and disconcerting climate.
The STEP Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead Initiative, launched to promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent.
Honorees from the SME Board of Directors:
Sandra Bouckley, Vice President of Operations, Electrical Systems and Services Group, Electrical Sector for Eaton Corp.
Bouckley is currently serving as SME’s secretary/treasurer. She is responsible for developing and implementing the ESSG manufacturing strategy, while providing leadership to manufacturing, quality, operational excellence, supply chain, logistics, and environmental health and safety.
“Beyond my career, I knew that I could make a much bigger impact on the profession of manufacturing by being on the Board of Directors of SME. Being elected to the Board of SME has provided greater education and opportunity to be involved in manufacturing beyond my own job and career,” said Bouckley
Edye Buchanan, CMfgT, Product Manager, Fives North American Combustion Inc.
Buchanan is in her second term on the SME Board of Directors. As a charter member of SME’s Lorain County Community College S254 student chapter, she initiated the Lego Olympiad, which has become an annual event drawing more than 500 students each year.
“As my role model, my father showed me the importance of hard work, honesty, loyalty and respect. Through him, I learned workforce diversity, team building, and a holistic approach to problem solving, volunteerism and mentoring,” said Buchanan.
Honorees from the SME Education Foundation Board of Directors:
Sue Shimoyama, Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing Operations,Rockwell Automation
Shimoyama has served on the board of the SME Education Foundation since 2010. Her current role is chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. She also volunteers with the Society of Women Engineers, serving as the executive sponsor for Rockwell Automation. And Shimoyama is a founding member (1995) of Rockwell Automation’s Professional Women’s Council, formed to engage and enrich the careers of women.
“I have been fortunate to have had many role models to learn from. They inspired me to go beyond any limitations and guided me to look for the possibilities and opportunities in all challenges,” said Shimoyama.
Elizabeth Kautzmann, Program Manager, Laser/Fabrication, FANUC America
Currently serving her second term as an SME Education Foundation director, Kautzmann has worked with groups like FIRST Robotics and The Science Olympics to ensure young people are exposed to laser technology and manufacturing.
“I am fascinated with the story of Amelia Earhart from her single quote: ‘Adventure is worthwhile in itself.’ Passion for adventure creates opportunity for learning, growing and improving,” said Kautzman.