Modern manufacturing has become a digitally driven sector, and it is no longer solely the "dirty and dangerous" occupation it has long been perceived to be. Today, there are many tech-centric and highly paid positions available at manufacturing companies. This makes a persuasive case for technologically savvy women to build a successful career in this sector. In our pursuit to attract more women to the manufacturing industry, we have been sharing stories of such women leaders in manufacturing who have made it big in their careers. Read on for some more inspiring stories.
Marillyn A. Hewson, Chairman, President and CEO, Lockheed Martin
Hewson earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Economics degrees from The University of Alabama. She then started working for Lockheed Martin, one of the largest companies in the aerospace, defense, security, and technology industry. Hewson has held a range of operational leadership positions in her 30+ years with the company, including President of Lockheed Martin Systems Integration; Executive Vice President of Global Sustainment for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; President and General Manager of Kelly Aviation Center, L.P., an affiliate of Lockheed Martin; and President of Lockheed Martin Logistics Services.
Hewson is the Chairman of the Aerospace Industries Association and serves on the Board of Directors of DuPont. She is also a member of several other societies and associations like the Royal Aeronautical Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. In 2015, she was considered to be the highest paid women CEO.
Sarah Richards President and CEO, Jones Metal, Inc.
With a BA in Education and Economics and an MBA from University of St. Thomas, Richards is well-rounded outside of the classroom, as well. She briefly taught and worked in retail management. She had a 21-year career as a golf professional, during which she earned her PGA Class A Golf Professional certification and eventually became head pro at Minnesota's Cannon Golf Club. She went on to join the family-owned business Jones Metal, which provides advanced metal fabrication solutions for original equipment manufacturers in various industries, as a Sales and Marketing Director. In 2012, Jones Metal was honored with the "Woman Owned Manufacturing Company of the Year" award. With founder Mildred Jones, who started the company in 1942, Jones Metal has a long history of being a business owned and run by women.
Erica Wiegel President & Owner, Aro Metal Stamping Company, Inc.
Wiegel comes from a family of engineers and earned her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology and Manufacturing Association. Wiegel was also a STEP Ahead Award Honoree in 2014 for her achievements in the field of manufacturing. Ready for a new challenge, she went on to buy Aro Metal Stamping and is now the President as well as the owner of the company.
Beth Comstock Vice Chairman, General Electric
Comstock completed her Bachelors in Science from The College of William and Mary and started her career in media, working for companies like CNN, CBS, Turner Broadcasting, and NBC. It was her passion for innovation that led her to be hired by Jeffrey Immelt in 2003 as Chief Marketing Officer for GE, a position which had been empty for 20 years. In September 2015, Comstock became the first female Vice Chairman leading Business Innovations for GE, including GE Lighting and GE Ventures.
Carol Craig CEO, Craig Technologies
After post-secondary education, Craig was a Naval Flight Officer for three years. She started Craig Technologies, which provides high-end custom engineering and technical support services, in 1999. Craig holds several degrees: a BA in Computer Science from Knox College and a BS in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an MS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Moreover, she also earned a PhD in Systems Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology.
A wife, mother, and accomplished businesswoman, Craig has received numerous awards for her business excellence. She was named the SBA’s Small Business Person of the Year for the State of Florida in 2015. In 2012, she was Manufacturing Institute's Women in Manufacturing STEP Award Honoree in the technology category. In 2013, she was given the HENAAC Entrepreneur Award from Great Minds in STEM during the 25th Annual HENAAC Conference.
Have inspiring women at your manufacturing workplace? Share their stories with us, we will feature them in this series.