Inaugural Manufacturing for Women Pre-Event Shows the Power of Women in Industry
A long-time dream of the Missouri Association of Manufacturers (MAMs) CEO & President, Kim Inman, was to bring the women in manufacturing together to inspire the next generation and encourage the promotion of others already in the industry.
This year’s theme focused on the obstacles that powerful women face and the opportunities that those obstacles can generate. Inman stated, “’Alone we can do so little, but together we can do so much.’ When steel is twisted together, the strength becomes greater and unbreakable. The same can be said by the merging of strengths and uniting as one in manufacturing.”
Kicking off this year’s theme was Keynote presenter Melissa Sassi, Startup Program Manager with IBM. Sassi shared her personal story of overcoming obstacles along with her 10-point plan for banishing “The Impostor Syndrome”. The Impostor Syndrome is defined by Scientific America as a pervasive feeling of self-doubt, insecurity or fraudulence, despite often overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Known for striking smart, successful individuals, one attendee remarked, “(I) Never thought of myself as an impostor, but it’s very true. Nice to be reminded not to buy into my head lies.”
Following the motivational keynote presentation was a panel of exceptional women in the industry. Four (4) ladies from a variety of positions with Northrop Grumman shared their personal experiences of working in the industry as Kim Inman moderated. Panelists included:
- Angela Agee, Factory Operations Manager
- Bonnie Gorman, Programs Director
- Becky Hyde, Senior Principle Safety Engineer
- Betsy White, Program Manager.
The panelists touched on topics including roadblocks they’ve hit as women with their solutions on navigating it towards a stronger outcome, shared their experiences of self-doubt, how they take care of themselves, how they practice self-promotion and how they contribute to the guiding/assistance of other women towards success in the industry. Audience members reported many great takeaways from this portion of the event alone. Inman shared, “We have all experienced times in our lives where we had to make choices, without having a clue as to what the outcome might be. Those moments can make us all stronger if we take what we learn along the way and build a plan to keep us moving forward.”
Having now heard from Sassi on banishing the Impostor Syndrome and from the powerful stories of women in the industry, the day was wrapped up with a fun interactive roundtable on how attendees could pivot their obstacles to successes. By working together in groups, attendees worked through each of the topics designed to bring about new approaches to different scenarios. After each topic, the tables were broken apart and re-grouped with new individuals every time. Powered by the day’s knowledge, attendees dove into the topics head on and a buzz of conversation could be heard between every table.
Networking continued in full swing as ladies exchanged business cards and exited in groups together.
The success of this event has confirmed that the Manufacturing for Women conference will continue into it’s second year (September 2020). For more information on the 2020 Manufacturing for Women conference or how you can get involved, please reach out via phone 417-863-7262 or via email Events@MAMstrong.org.