Glass Ceiling Problem? This Workshop Series Could Help

Women in Manufacturing workshop starts March 11 at Urban Engine’s CoWorking Night at Huntsville West

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama and Polaris have teamed up to present a Women in Manufacturing workshop series aimed at encouraging women to start or grow their manufacturing career.

The first of the workshops will be held March 11 beginning at 6 p.m. during Urban Engine’s CoWorking Night at Huntsville West. The event, which aligns with Women’s History Month, will feature five women in executive leadership roles at Toyota, Polaris and Mazda Toyota.

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Emily Rogers, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing communications specialist, will lead the conversation with Marsha Cantrell, senior analyst at Toyota Motor North America; April Mason, general manager of administration at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama; Nancy “Ellen” McCarthy, vice president of governmental affairs at Polaris; and Michelle White, quality inspection manager at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing.

“With only 29 percent women in manufacturing (according to the National Association of Manufacturers), there is a huge opportunity to tap into this talent pool. These workshops align perfectly with Toyota’s focus on increasing women in the industry and further supporting current female team members to excel and advance,” said Kim Ogle, corporate communications analyst at Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama.

Additional workshops will be held monthly highlighting a variety of topics including leadership opportunities for women, dealing with the glass ceiling and pay gap, social media tactics, time management, public speaking, personal branding and more.

Polaris’ support of these workshops builds upon its already successful Women Leaders in Powersports program, which cultivates inclusion of women in the company and in the powersports field.

“We strive to develop strong relationships within our community, share best practices and help women come together to learn from each other and support achievements,” said Naomee Santana, global manufacturing training manager for Polaris.

This first workshop’s timing couldn’t be better. “Women’s History Month offers the opportunity to celebrate the contributions and historical milestones of women’s achievements and bring awareness to ongoing opportunities for equity and inclusion for women,” said Toni Eberhart, corporate communications specialist at Mazda Toyota Manufacturing.

Polaris is a global powersports leader, employing 1,500 team members at its 935,000-square-foot Huntsville facility.

Toyota currently has 14 manufacturing sites in North America, employing more than 47,000 people, making cars, trucks and engines. Its engine plant in Huntsville opened in 2003 and makes 4-liter, V-6 and V-8 engines.

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is a jointly owned and operated automotive production plant that is currently under construction. The $1.6 billion facility is expected to create up to 4,000 jobs and will have the capacity to assemble up to 300,000 vehicles a year, beginning in 2021.

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