Sandra Westlund-Deenihan Recognized for Outstanding Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP)

Sandra Westlund-Deenihan, Chief Executive Officer of Quality Float Works, Inc., was recently announced as a Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Award recipient for her excellence and leadership in manufacturing in the first annual STEP Awards program sponsored by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte, the University of Phoenix and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Sandy joins 121 other woman honorees across the country, representing all levels of manufacturing from the factory floor to the C Suite. The STEP Awards are part of the cheap oakley sunglasses larger STEP Ahead initiative launched by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte, University of Phoenix and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and best practices for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent.
“I am honored and humbled to be recognized with an award that recognizes women leaders in the manufacturing industry,” said Sandra Westlund-Deenihan. “It is my hope – and personal mission – to inspire more women and young girls to seek careers in the manufacturing industry.”

“These 122 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, President of The Manufacturing Institute. “We chose to honor these women because they each made significant achievements in manufacturing through positive impact on their company and the industry as a whole.”

A 2011 survey from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that nearly 70 percent of American manufacturing companies have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. Manufacturing companies cannot fill as many as 600,000 skilled positions, even as unemployment numbers hover at historically high levels. Additionally, labor statistics show that women are underrepresented in the manufacturing workforce and in manufacturing leadership ranks — a situation that must be reversed to preserve and grow the industry.

“The STEP Ahead initiative was founded to change perceptions of the manufacturing industry and create new opportunities for women in the sector,” said Latondra Newton, group vice president at Toyota Motor North America, Inc. and chairwoman of the STEP Ahead initiative. “This initiative is the call for action to transform the face of today’s manufacturing talent and ensure that women can contribute to the future of this industry.”

On February 5, The Manufacturing Institute and its STEP Ahead initiative partners will recognize the recipients of the STEP Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.
A full list and profiles of STEP Award honorees is available through The Manufacturing Institute website.