Influential Women in Manufacturing: Past, Present, and Future

The following offers details for the 2020 Influential Women in Manufacturing program.

Influential Women in Manufacturing: Past, Present, and Future

When the team that developed Influential Women in Manufacturing (IWIM) launched it two years ago, we had a vision: to recognize and honor women who were going above and beyond for their companies, their colleagues, and the women around them.

The Past

IWIM was born from an idea I’d worked on for Food Processing several years back. I come from a long line of strong women and I draw my own strength from the words of wisdom each woman before me has handed down. I wanted to offer a similar kind of wisdom to the women who were breaking the mold in food and beverage, so I worked with an agency to design Words of Wisdom from Kick-Ass Women in Food.

When the idea to replicate the Food Processing program across multiple Putman brands came up two years ago, I and two of my co-workers took it upon ourselves to create what would become known as Influential Women in Manufacturing,

We had faith (and data) that the program would be well received in the manufacturing community. In the last two years, we met and exceeded our goals, having grown leaps and bounds each year. Every woman we talked to, honored, interviewed, etc. helped us feel like we were doing something life-changing.

The Present

And we did change lives. Not only the honorees, but our own. We saw the profound effects of amplifying women’s voices and connecting an alliance of women who were impacting the world in their manufacturing careers.

We added a fourth person to our group for the 2019 awards, and we continued to ‘get stuff done’ as we famously liked to put it. Despite the life-changing nature of the program, IWIM took a lot of time, energy, and resources away from the jobs team members were hired to do, so a choice was made.

The Future

Right now, the 2020 program is on hiatus and the team has also gone from four women to one; me, specifically.

To borrow some phrasing from the process industries, IWIM is back in the R&D lab and looking at reformulating. IWIM was born out of a need to amplify and connect, and I’d like to continue that pursuit. If you are interested in learning about how your company can help continue the IWIM mission, please reach out to me personally.

And, to all of the past honorees, nominators, partners, and allies that have helped with and believed in the program, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to you.

Erin Hallstrom
Director, Digital Strategy
Creator of Influential Women in Manufacturing