9th Annual Step Ahead Awards Recognize Women for Excellence in Manufacturing
The Manufacturing Institute Will Honor Bryn Snow, Director, Application Technology Nonferrous and Glass, at HarbisonWalker International
The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers— has presented Bryn Snow, Director, Application Technology – Nonferrous/Glass at HarbisonWalker International (HWI), with a STEP Ahead Award.
The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C-suite.
Bryn joined HWI in 2010 and has progressed her career through numerous technical applications roles to become HWI’s first female Application Technology Director. She has also been involved in virtually every aspect of the company’s volunteering and community-building activities, including mentoring. In 2018, Bryn was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Ceramic and Glass Industry Foundation (CGIF) to serve a three-year term. She is the third STEP Ahead Award recipient at HWI. Carol Jackson, Chairman and CEO, and Martha Collins, Chief Technology Officer, have been honored with the prestigious recognition in past years.
“Several of our HWI customers also have been named as STEP Ahead Award recipients this year, so it is especially gratifying to be recognized along with them. I’m also incredibly proud to follow in the footsteps of Carol and Martha at our company. It’s an exciting time working at HWI as we continue to grow, innovate, and help advance the manufacturing industry by delivering essential refractory products and services. Every day, we make industry possible, which makes life better and builds the future,” said Bryn.
“Bryn is an outstanding professional and leader who truly lives our HWI values, and her STEP Ahead Award is extremely well-deserved. Along with her technical and manufacturing expertise, Bryn’s can-do attitude is evident in everything she does for customers and colleagues at HWI,” said Michael Werner, Senior Vice President, Commercial at HWI.
“Women in manufacturing proved themselves time and time again after the pandemic began, leading our industry in innovation and progress. We will honor these manufacturing leaders with the STEP Ahead Awards, elevating their success and granting them a platform to inspire the next generation of women manufacturing leaders,” said Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “The skills gap persisted throughout the pandemic, but our STEP Ahead honorees will help us fight it—they’ll play a crucial role in bringing more talented, motivated women into manufacturing. We’re confident these honorees will serve as living proof that women can dare to dream of a fulfilling, rewarding career in the industry.”
The STEP Women’s Initiative is the nation’s marquee program to close the gender gap in manufacturing. STEP works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership, as well as by motivating alumnae to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation. The STEP Ahead Awards honor exceptional women in manufacturing and motivate them to mentor the next generation through an annual awards gala and alumnae programs. The stories of these women and the leadership they show will help inspire next-generation female leaders in manufacturing and support female talent already within the industry. In the program’s first five years, STEP Ahead Award winners impacted more than 300,000 individuals—from peers in the industry to school-age children.
The biggest challenge facing manufacturers continues to be the growing workforce crisis—the shortage of skilled talent to fill open positions. Manufacturers can close the skills gap by 50% simply by bringing 10% more women into the industry. Women account for about half of the U.S. labor force but represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. STEP Ahead empowers and inspires women in the manufacturing industry. The goal is to build networks for women to have support in their industry and to elevate the role models that can motivate and mentor the next generation.
On November 4, the Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a gala in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including her leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.
About HarbisonWalker International
With more than 150 years of industry leadership, HarbisonWalker International (HWI) is the largest supplier of refractory products and services in the United States. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the company’s international network spans North America, Europe, and Asia, with 19 manufacturing plants, 30 global sourcing centers, and technology facilities in both the United States and China. Serving virtually every major industry that requires refractory solutions to enhance production and protect assets, HWI is consistently recognized for its talented experts, industry firsts, and intensely driven excellence.