Three accomplished Ingersoll Rand women – Dr. Donna Staarup Bossman, Cynthia Farrer and Tracy Kemp – were among 122 women who received the first Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Awards. They were honored for their achievements in manufacturing and their contributions to the industry at a reception held Feb. 5 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) in Washington, D.C.
The STEP 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 best practices for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent.
A recent 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 workplace and in manufacturing leadership ranks – a situation that must be reversed to preserve and grow the industry.
Deloitte’s Process & Industrial Products Sector and The Manufacturing Institute sponsored the awards along with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and the University of Phoenix.
“As the nation emerges from the recession, we know that manufacturing is critical to our economy, and critical to the success of each manufacturer is a high-quality workforce,” said Mark C. Tomlinson, executive director/CEO, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). “By telling the stories of real women in manufacturing, we not only will celebrate great careers, but also make a profound public statement about the significance of manufacturing.”
A Positive Impact on the Industry
Ingersoll Rand Chairman and CEO Mike Lamach, expressed pride in all the honorees in a letter of dedication in a commemorative book to mark the occasion. “Encouraging women with diverse backgrounds, experiences, talents and skills to pursue careers in manufacturing is vital to strengthening the industry,” he wrote. The book contains profiles of each of the 122 honorees, including Ingersoll Rand’s:
Dr. Donna Bossman, Materials and Mechanics Technology leader, oversees materials engineering and computational mechanics engineering teams for the Trane Commercial and Thermo King units of Ingersoll Rand’s Climate Solutions sector. She participates in engineering career path overviews for students and is working on the company’s formal involvement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. In 2012, her work on the company’s Women’s Network earned her its highest honor – a President’s Award.
Cynthia Farrer, vice president Operations Americas, is responsible for environmental health and safety, quality, delivery, employee engagement, cost performance and operational excellence across the Americas for the company’s Security Technologies sector. Her contributions at Ingersoll Rand have resulted in year-over-year customer quality improvements of 20-30 percent and millions of dollars in savings. While working in Mexico, she co-founded a successful women’s network, Soy, and she has been a featured speaker with the Society of Women Engineers.
Tracy Kemp, vice president and chief information officer for Ingersoll Rand’s Security Technologies and Residential Solutions sectors, delivers innovative technology solutions to the business, while supporting the existing base of technology applications. She was a key contributor for TraneMAP, an iPad application for Trane dealers and led the creation of, and chairs, the company’s first Employee Resource Group – the Women’s Network.
“These 122 women are the faces of exciting careers in manufacturing,” said Jennifer McNelly, president, 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.”