BASF and The Manufacturing Institute honor outstanding women in manufacturing

Monday, 28. September 2020 21:23

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., Sept. 28, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two BASF leaders in manufacturing were among 130 women recognized nationally through The Manufacturing Institute’s eighth annual STEP Ahead Awards. Focusing on science, technology, engineering and production (STEP), the program recognizes women who exemplify leadership within their companies. This national honor identifies top talent in the manufacturing industry, and further encourages award winners to mentor and support the next generation to pursue manufacturing careers.

Jody Piel, Shift Supervisor at BASF’s facility in Freeport, Texas received the STEP Ahead Honoree award, and Amanda Hodges, Process Engineer at BASF’s facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee received the STEP Ahead Emerging Leader award.

The recognitions are part of the STEP Women’s initiative, the goal of which is to shrink the gender gap in manufacturing and increase innovation. This is accomplished by identifying and elevating the role models who can inspire the next generation, as well as through building networks and developing skills for women in the industry.

“The 2020 STEP Ahead Honorees and Emerging Leader Awards reinforce the exciting opportunities available in manufacturing and help inspire more women to pursue these careers,” said Erika Peterman, BASF’s Senior Vice President – Chemical Intermediates and 2020 STEP Ahead Awards chair. “A natural evolution of the manufacturing workforce is taking place as more women enter into leadership roles, bringing innovative ideas and transforming how we work and increase productivity.”

Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Female employees totaled 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2018, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. Not only does the STEP Women’s initiative bolster manufacturing’s attractiveness to women, it also plays an important role in improving the perception of careers in the industry among younger generations.

“STEP Women’s Initiative is a grassroots movement of manufacturers dedicated to overcoming the shared challenges facing manufacturers today. The biggest challenge continues to be the growing workforce crisis,” said Carolyn Lee, Executive Director of the Manufacturing Institute. “Through a collective effort, the STEP Ahead Awards are dedicated to fostering a 21st century manufacturing workforce that gives women the recognition and support they deserve. By honoring current and existing leaders, we are building and elevating the role models that can inspire the next generation – and we are building the networks for women to have support in their industry and do even more.”

BASF sponsored the annual awards ceremony, which was held virtually on September 24. For more information about BASF careers and efforts that promote women in manufacturing, visit

About BASF

BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 18,800 employees in North America and had sales of $18.4 billion in 2019. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit

At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. The approximately 117,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio is organized into six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of around €59 billion in 2019. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at

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