SUMMIT 2023: Exploring New Horizons in San Diego
SUMMIT 2023: Exploring New Horizons in San Diego
Set against the sunny backdrop of San Diego, California, Women in Manufacturing’s annual SUMMIT conference illuminated the world of manufacturing during the third week in September. The gathering brought together 1,741 attendees from a total of 338 companies arriving from across the globe, uniting industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts. With a combination of in-person and virtual participation, the conference showcased the growth and commitment of the manufacturing sector to embrace diversity, innovation, and leadership.
“It was a wonderful experience to be with so many women who can all relate to the struggles that come with being a minority in a manufacturing environment. The amount of support these women have for each other and seeing so many successful female leaders was so empowering,” says Sophia Halloran-Ritter, Senior Quality Manager, The Boeing Company.
This year's conference witnessed a significant increase in the number of attendees, with 1,587 participants joining in-person and 154 virtually. A total of 16 countries were represented, showcasing the global reach of the conference. The countries in attendance included Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, Puerto Rico, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States Minor Outlying Islands, and the United States.
“It was a great opportunity to network with women from all over the world,” says Maria Campieri, Workforce Development Manager, BotsIQ.
Attendees had the opportunity to explore manufacturing facilities at 10 renowned companies, including Scotts Miracle Gro, Taylor Guitars, Solar Turbines, Dr. Bronner's, Kraft Heinz and more.
“I love plant tours. You get to see firsthand different worlds of manufacturing,” says Michele Kienle, Marketing Manager, American Crane & Equipment Corporation.
Conference attendees actively engaged in a community service project at the San Diego Food Bank, demonstrating the industry's commitment to giving back. They cleaned and packaged fresh produce, sorted and labeled food donations, and assembled food packages for various programs, including the Senior Food Program, Moms & Children Food Program, Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Food 4 Kids Backpack Program.
SUMMIT was not just about industry insights; it was also about creating unforgettable moments and lasting connections. The evening networking reception on San Diego Bay exuded West Coast vibes, with a luminous ambiance and coastal-inspired refreshments while an intimate networking dinner at a local restaurant provided the perfect setting for attendees to engage in meaningful conversations and celebrate the spirit of community and collaboration. These two events epitomized the essence of SUMMIT, blending business and pleasure, underlining the importance of personal and professional connections in the manufacturing industry.
“I made more connections at this conference and networked more than I ever have at other conferences in my career,” says Sandy Boczkowski, Talent Management, Butterball.
The conference was graced by a captivating lineup of five keynote presentations that delved into the dynamics of the manufacturing sector, addressing both its challenges and opportunities. ‘21st Century Rosies: A Factory Fireside Chat,’ presented by representatives from The Boeing Company, illuminated the significant contributions of women in manufacturing and celebrated their remarkable achievements while Barbara Humpton, president and CEO of Siemens Corporation USA, took the stage to present ‘Shaping the Future We Want’, sharing her visionary insights into the future of the manufacturing industry.
“The keynote speakers were so inspiring, and I loved to hear the different paths of how each obtained success in their respective positions,” says Laurie Larsen, senior tactical buyer, GISC Tactical Department, Trane Technologies.
Breakout Session Insights
The conference also included 34 breakout sessions, focusing on various aspects of leadership development, personal development and wellness, allies and mentorship, technology and innovation, small enterprises, sustainability, workforce development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. These sessions provided valuable knowledge and practical insights for attendees to implement in their careers.
“The speakers were so inspiring and motivating,” says Kate Fields, talent acquisition manager with Airgas. “I found the panels to be honest and it felt like a safe space where I could network with like-minded professionals.”
Empowering Manufacturing's Tomorrow
We are thrilled that once again SUMMIT was a resounding success, attracting a diverse and enthusiastic group of manufacturing professionals. As the manufacturing sector continues to evolve, events like WiM’s SUMMIT conference will play a vital role in shaping the future of the industry. With increased international participation, a strong support system, and an array of insightful sessions, this conference left attendees feeling inspired and motivated to drive positive change within their organizations and the manufacturing world as a whole.
From the plant tours and receptions to the inspiring keynotes and new connections, this year's SUMMIT was a memorable event. Check out the photos on our Flickr account. It's a great way to relive all of the amazing experiences. Click here to access the SUMMIT photo album.
Save the date for next year’s SUMMIT! The conference will take place from October 7-9 in Boston, MA. Complete this form and be the first to receive information about SUMMIT 2024.