Event focuses on gender gap in manufacturing industry

Many regional business leaders have a problem: How can businesses better recruit and retain women in the Quad Cities manufacturing industry?

That’s the big question at the center of an upcoming business meeting called “STEP Forward: Where Do We Go From Here?”

The event, presented by The Manufacturing Institute and Arconic Foundation, will be from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Hotel Blackhawk, 200 E. Third St., Davenport. Admission is free and light refreshments will be served.

“The manufacturing industry is at a crossroads: identify and implement ways to close the gender gap or risk the opportunity to strengthen our future workforce,” according to AJ Jorgenson, the event’s moderator and vice president of strategic engagement and inclusion at The Manufacturing Institute.

Event organizers said the event’s features will include: latest data and stats on women in manufacturing; insights and first-hand experiences on what it is like for a woman navigating a career in industry; a network reception to create and strengthen connections with manufacturers, colleagues and peers.

During the event, there will be a panel discussion from 6-7 p.m. on recruiting the workforce for the future. Panelists will include:

  • Cynthia Krist, aerospace and defense product manager for Arconic Global Rolled Products, Arconic Corporation.
  • Tracy Schrauben, manager of manufacturing emerging technologies, John Deere.
  • Carol Reynolds, vice president, human resources and communications, Kent Corporation.
  • Divya Behl, director, Development Program Management, Woodward Inc.

The institute’s STEP Forward program provides women in manufacturing with an opportunity to hear from industry leaders, connect with peers and learn best practices. 

For more information on the event, visit themanufacturinginstitute.org.

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