On this International Women’s Day, I want to call attention to the role women play in our community.
Many of us have influential women in your lives. These could be women with a formal leadership position, a mentor, a peer or even someone you heard at a past AME event or conference.
I am fortunate to have had many strong, courageous and wise women influence my life and career. This all started with my mom. As I’ve shared before, I grew up in a military family. We moved frequently, but even as our geography changed, our family life did not because my mother acted as a steadying presence who kept our family together. Watching her, I learned the importance of family, of taking care of my responsibilities and pursuing my passions. For my mom, this included balancing her family obligations while being actively involved in politics and advocating for women’s rights. Oh, and did I mention that she did this while raising five children (including two sets of twins) all born within a three-year period?
What’s even more amazing is that she learned to be a role model because she, too, had models to follow. My grandmothers were ahead of their time and helped inspire my mother and me.
We all need role models. As we think about the United Nations’ theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world,” it’s important to call attention to the women who are leading organizations, championing causes, lifting up others, and inspiring the next wave of female leaders.
AME is proud to be leading the way for women in the continuous improvement, lean community. In the past year, we’ve added three women to the AME Management Team and two new female members to the AME board of directors. Meanwhile, for the second year in a row, the AME International Conference is being chaired by a woman. Beyond our volunteers, AME’s Home Team is 86% female.
Still, we have much work to do as an organization and a society. Our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee is looking at many ways to help AME and our community become more representative while creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, everyone has a voice and all voices are heard. We will continue to build a stronger organization and community by embracing diversity of race, ethnicity, religion, gender and sexual orientation.
I also want to call attention to the important work that Women in Manufacturing (WIM) is doing to help empower and expand the role of women in manufacturing jobs. It is a tremendous organization and we are proud to partner with WIM to offer a joint AME/WIM membership that is available to both women and men. Beyond the benefits that both AME and WIM offer, a joint membership is a vote of support for women in industry and an opportunity for you to back current female role models while inspiring the next generation of women leaders.
P.S. Please note that I won’t be sending out my regular Friday message this week. Instead, this Friday keep an eye out for an email with the survey link I mentioned in my last message.