The SUMMIT and WiM were born out of the need to connect women in industry with one another. When we first launched the SUMMIT, there was a desire to connect women who were seeking advice, guidance, resources and support. Current and aspiring women in industry existed throughout the country in facilities of all different sizes, but sadly many of them felt alone, isolated and as though what they were experiencing was the norm.
Our SUMMIT, now celebrating its 11th anniversary, has attracted more than 3500 attendees since its inception, hosted more than 250 educational sessions, and has literally (said with the spirit and gumption of Chris Traeger from “Parks and Recreation”) transformed people’s lives. The sessions we have delivered have been impactful, the keynote presentations inspirational and the plant tours instructional, but I think the most important deliverable of our SUMMIT and all of our programs is facilitating connections.
Some of the most significant changes in my life have happened because of the people I have met and have built authentic connections with. While sharing coffee, conversations and often a cocktail (as anyone who knows me, it would be a rich red blend), is when I have been most powerfully able to make connections with people who are equally passionate about common issues, with allies who want to work together and with others who have experienced the same situations and circumstances.
I encourage all women and allies in manufacturing to join us for our 11th annual SUMMIT in WiM’s hometown of Cleveland, October 4-6. This city has undergone a resurgence in the last decade just as our organization has experienced a surge in support and prioritization. We are committed to keeping our in-person participants safe and our virtual participants, joining us from all throughout the globe, engaged. Now more than ever it is critically important for us to come together and celebrate the year-and-a-half we have survived and look forward to a future that embraces difference, diversity and innovation.
I hope to see all of you in Cleveland or in our virtual audience in October. Please know that you have been missed and not forgotten during this period when we could not be together in person!
Founder and President
Women in Manufacturing (WiM)
Follow me @allisongrealis
P.S. – Be sure to check out this new overview video we recently produced to celebrate our organization and growing member community.