Published on : Wednesday, July 21, 2021
The Manufacturing Institute—the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers—announced it will recognize Betty Baker and Megan Molling of Ashley Furniture Industries (Ashley) with the STEP Ahead Award in its ninth annual edition. 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.
“It is an honor for me to be nominated by Ashley Furniture and to be chosen as an Honoree for the 2021 STEP Ahead awards,” stated Betty Baker, Domestic Casegoods Product Engineer, Ashley Furniture Industries. “I am looking forward to meeting each one of these amazing women at the Gala in Washington DC to hear each of their stories and the impact they have made and continue to make in the fields of manufacturing.”
“Ashley Furniture has many intelligent and talented women helping us meet our vision of being the Best Furniture Company. We couldn’t be more proud to have two of our very own be honored with this prestigious award,” stated Todd Wanek, President & CEO, Ashley Furniture Industries. “Betty and Megan show an outstanding amount of hard work and commitment as leaders in their job and in their communities every day. This recognition is well deserved!”
“I am extremely humbled to receive the Step Ahead Award. Throughout my tenure at Ashley, I have had the opportunity to learn from and grow with so many incredible leaders and team members – many of which have been women. I am extremely proud to be the recipient of the Step Ahead Award and part of an organization that celebrates and empowers women in manufacturing!” stated Megan Molling, Global Supply Optimization Manager, Ashley Furniture Industries.
“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 MI Executive Director Carolyn Lee.
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.
On Nov. 4, the MI 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.