Introducing WiM’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force

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In response to changing needs of WiM members and evolving best practices for professional associations, the Women in Manufacturing Association (WiM) formed a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force in the fall of 2020. The DE&I Task Force is comprised of WiM Association board members, WiM Education Foundation (WiMEF) board members, and representatives from WiM corporate member companies and organizations.

The DE&I Task Force is focused on ensuring that WiM and the WiMEF actively develop programming that provides corporate members with tools for creating and advancing informed DE&I initiatives within their organizations. Additionally, the task force is committed to ensuring that WiM provides individual members with resources geared toward overcoming and impacting DE&I-related challenges in their careers.

“Manufacturing companies need resources to ensure that they are creating an inclusive culture, that they are providing equitable opportunities to employees, and that they are developing a diverse workforce,” said Allison Grealis, President of WiM and the WiM Education Foundation. “For more than a decade, the Women in Manufacturing Association has worked year-round to provide companies with these resources, and our DE&I Task Force is the next evolution of that endeavor.”

The first endeavor taken on by the DE&I Task Force was to develop a statement on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for the WiM website. The task force partnered with Bracewell LLP to research similar statements from like-minded organizations, as well as leading organizations in the areas of DE&I, like the Human Rights Campaign, who have insights into international best practices.

With a thoughtful approach, the DE&I Task Force crafted the following statement, which was later approved by the WiM Board of Directors:

Women in Manufacturing® (WiM) works toward a world in which a diverse and inclusive manufacturing sector offers equitable opportunities and rewarding careers for all people. WiM is committed to a culture of inclusion that acknowledges and respects our differences while fostering a genuinely welcoming community where everyone can feel that they belong. WiM is a safe and respectful environment for people of all genders and gender identities; all races and ethnicities; all cultures and religions; all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses; all sexual orientations; all ages; and all abilities. WiM has a dual mission with a common purpose: First, building an association that is diverse, equitable and inclusive and, secondly, supporting our members’ efforts to build workplaces that are diverse, equitable and inclusive.

WiM’s statement on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is located on the Who We Are page of womeninmanufacturing.org.

The DE&I Task Force is committed to creating new resources for WiM corporate members, including best practices guides for creating and supporting an inclusive culture within their organizations. The task force will collaborate with the WiM events team to recommend topics and refer speakers for WiM national events that correspond with its goal to provide DE&I-geared programming for WiM members.

"WiM continues to find ways to innovate and serve members. As each of us navigate an ever-changing social climate, it is imperative that we connect and support one another," said Cara Herzog, Director Diversity and Inclusivity, Workforce Development at Southwire Company and member of the WiM DE&I Task Force. "We are united by our desire to ensure that all organizations, and the hearts and minds within them, are poised to meet the challenges ahead. I am honored to serve on the DEI Task Force on behalf of Southwire – our shared commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strengthens our partnership."

The DE&I Task Force is currently developing a series of panel events in conjunction with WiM’s 2021 Virtual Learning Series. Join us the day following our VLS sessions in July 2021, January 2022, and February 2022 for engaging panel discussions with representatives from WiM corporate member companies and our DE&I Task Force. Each panel will cover questions related to the preceding VLS session and panelists will share their insights and experiences related to the following topics:

  • July 2021: Influencing as a Woman in Manufacturing
  • January 2022: Leading & Managing Change
  • February 2022: Inclusive and Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

The series will conclude with a final capstone panel in March 2022, which will feature members of our DE&I Task Force and will be an open forum on current DE&I best practices for manufacturers.

If you or a leader from your company are interested in participating as a panelist for the topics listed above, please review our form here for requirements and to submit your information.

Additionally, we are actively recruiting additional DE&I Task Force members to support our efforts this year. Are you interested in joining the WiM DE&I Task Force? Complete our volunteer form here!

You will be notified whether you have been selected by May 15, 2021. Individuals selected for the DE&I Task Force will demonstrate an active interest in improving diversity, equity and inclusion within their own organization and the manufacturing industry. DE&I Task Force members should work for a current WiM corporate member company in a director-level or senior role related to DE&I, HR or Workforce Development.