Three Toyota team members were honored Thursday nigh in Washington, D.C. with Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards from The Manufacturing Institute.
The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers. Award winners represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to executive leadership. Toyota’s award winners come from multiple operations across North America.
- Renee Robertson, General Manager Production Control, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky
- Shamaya Morris, Production Engineering Specialist, Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia
- Marie Kendrick, Powertrain Engineer, Toyota’s Bodine Aluminum, Troy, Mo. (Posthumous)
“The women who we are celebrating represent the exciting career opportunities available in manufacturing,” said Michelle Kumbier, 2019 chair of STEP Ahead and chief operating officer at Harley-Davidson Motor Company. “The STEP Ahead Award honors successful women in this industry for their significant achievements and the positive impact they have made on their companies, their communities and the industry as a whole.”
Women totaled 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce – constituting one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent.
“We are thrilled to see our amazing team members recognized for the excellent work they are doing at Toyota,” said Leah Curry, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia and a 2013 STEP Ahead Award winner. “At this time, when our industry sees a significant lack of women entering manufacturing careers, it is critical that we continue to encourage, empower and elevate today’s female leaders to inspire future generations. That is a mission that we take very seriously at Toyota.”
The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership.
Fifteen Toyota team members have previously received this prestigious award.