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.
“There’s this quote from Toni Morrison that I really love: “If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.” But how do you know if you have power?” said Meena Banasiak, Phoenix Director of Quality and Food Safety. “The truth, I would argue, is that we all do. On any given day, we might have dozens of interactions with other people, each of which is an opportunity to make their day a little bit better, do nothing at all, or leave them feeling a little bit worse off than they were. That’s power! Just imagine the difference it would make if we all were able to put our very best selves toward helping others do the same? That’s what the STEP Ahead award means to me. It’s helped me to think deeply about what my mission is, and what my responsibility is, as a leader at Phoenix, in the manufacturing industry, and in my community. And it’s going to give me an even larger platform from which to pursue this same meaningful effort to inspire, motivate, and empower others around me. I’m honored, I’m excited, and I’m blessed.”
“We are thrilled, and not the least bit surprised, that Meena Banasiak is being honored with the 2020 Women in Manufacturing STEP Ahead Award.” said Alby Miller Co-President, Phoenix. “As Phoenix’s Director of Quality and Food Safety her leadership and forward thinking has guided the company to our best practices and programs yet with more to come. Her passion for introducing the world of manufacturing to young women is contagious and we look forward to see her continued positive impact on our industry.”
“The 2020 STEP Ahead Honorees and Emerging Leaders represent the exciting opportunities available in manufacturing and help inspire more women to pursue these careers,” said Teressa Szelest, 2020 Chair of STEP Ahead and President, Market and Business Development North America, BASF Corporation. “There is an evolution of the manufacturing workforce as more women enter into leadership roles, bringing innovative ideas and transforming how we work and increase productivity.
“Companies across the U.S. agree there is a talent shortage in manufacturing. Through the STEP Ahead Awards, we hope to take another step toward closing this gap by highlighting the stories of successful women in manufacturing and giving them a platform to encourage other women to join the industry and be role models for the next generation,” said Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of The Manufacturing Institute. “The women being honored demonstrate what modern manufacturing careers are all about: making an impact in their communities with meaningful careers that offer significant opportunities for growth.”
On April 30, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.