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BASF supports STEP Ahead Initiative

World Cement,

BASF has expressed its support for the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead initiative, joining with The Manufacturing Institute to recognise the importance of women in manufacturing and leadership roles.

Two BASF manufacturing employees, Sheila Chickene (left), Vice President of Manufacturing, Catalysts Division, and Jacki Partain (right), Site Reliability Engineer at the Port Arthur, Texas, site were recognised with STEP Ahead Awards by The Manufacturing Institute during a recent ceremony in Washington D.C.

BASF took part in a number of meetings and sponsored the STEP Ahead awards ceremony, which took place in Washington, D.C., on 25 – 27 March. The events aim to find ways to attract, develop and retain female talent in manufacturing.

Around 130 women form over 100 companies were recognised for their achievements in manufacturing at the awards ceremony. This included two BASF employees, Sheila Chickene, Vice President of Manufacturing – Catalysts Division, and Jacki Partain, Site Reliability Engineer at Port Arthur, Texas.

According to a survey conducted by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, 80% of US manufacturing firms have encountered a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers. Women are particularly under represented in the industry. Although women account for approximately 50% of the US labour force, only 25% of the manufacturing labour force is female.

“BASF salutes The Manufacturing Institute for helping to advance diversity in manufacturing,” said Tom Yura, Senior Vice President of BASF’s Geismar, Louisiana site, and a board member of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). “This effort will require a holistic approach that includes increased outreach to young girls and a focus on development of female leaders in manufacturing.”

“With a skills gap of 2 million unfilled jobs over the next decade, it is crucial to attract, retain and recruit women into the manufacturing workforce,” commented Jennifer McNelly, President of The Manufacturing Institute. “Our work with BASF and other industry leaders has been instrumental to our STEP Ahead initiative and advancing female talent in the industry.”

Adapted from press release by

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