History of IWIM
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How It All Began

IWIM Honoree Jolene Baker and Her Daughter at the 2018 IWIM Breakfast

Influential Women in Manufacturing was an idea that had been crafted after a project Food Processing had done highlighting women in the food and beverage industry.

Founded in late 2017 by Erin Hallstrom, Alexis Gajewski, and Christine LaFave Grace, the small group wanted to meet the women in manufacturing and STEM roles who were making waves, shattering glass ceilings, and effecting positive growth not only for themselves, but their departments and their companies.

The team launched Putman Media's first ever Influential Women in Manufacturing program in early 2018. The idea was to seek out women throughout the world -- through nominations from colleagues and peers -- who were effecting change.

After a nomination and judging process, 22 honorees were selected for the inaugural class of Influential Women in Manufacturing. The honorees were awarded plaques and given the designation of being an Influential Woman in Manufacturing at Putman Media's 2018 Smart Industry event.

As it enters its second year, the program continues to grow in size and scope, and also in importance. Never has it been more important to bridge gaps in workforce training for age and gender.