IWIM 2020 Honoree: Sascha Harrell, Purdue University/IN-MAC
To continue to bring new women into the manufacturing schools, it’s important for leaders in the industry to be active in their communities. Sascha Harrell does just this. She continues to create a path to not just attracting talented girls and women to many manufacturing-driven pathways, but she also works to advance and retain these women in the industry.
Harrell has more than 15 years of experience in manufacturing human resources. In her current role as Director of Education and Workforce for the Purdue University Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness center, she works with more than 7,000 manufacturers, government officials and educators to refine and implement programs and services to better the present and future of Indiana’s workforce.
In this role, Harrell serves as an ambassador to help improve and change the manufacturing industry by helping women succeed in the field. She creates curriculum and programming to help show the world of manufacturing to women and girls, because this begins both at home with influencers and in schools.
For example, Harrell has led education initiatives about the manufacturing industry for grades K-12 and at the college level, which are focused on helping create better perceptions of the manufacturing industry. In early education, she focuses on gaining access to Industry 4.0 for early education students. She also helps to gain more educator training on new technology in the classroom and provide research for factually accurate conversations about how the youth perceives manufacturing.
During her time in the industry, Harrell has partnered with more than 150 manufacturing industries and has promoted and created women in manufacturing succession initiatives. Harrell has impacted more than 150,000 students across the state of Indiana in grade school and post-secondary education. Additionally, she is working to implement more than 15 design and innovation studios in both industry and education for students in grade school and college to provide science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) manufacturing access, curriculum, training, and awareness to her community.
Read her advice to future female manufacturers as well as the 19 other 2020 Honorees by downloading the 2020 Influential Women in Manufacturing E-Book.