New Resource Helps Women Succeed in Manufacturing

To help women identify opportunities, recognize obstacles, and navigate a career in manufacturing, the Packaging & Processing Women’s Leadership Network (PPWLN), and OpX Leadership Network, teamed up to deliver the new digital work product: Connect, Share, Inspire: Voices of Women in Packaging and Processing.

The annual Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) 2022 Salary Survey results, a portion of which is included in the new work product, reveal a continued gender wage gap, pointing out the need to help women succeed in manufacturing careers. The Voices of Women in Packaging and Processing, produced by PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, highlights five core skills needed for success: business acumen, negotiation, communication, emotional intelligence, and networking. Also included are insights from subject-matter experts and perspectives from five influential women leaders in the industry.

“There is so much opportunity for women in the manufacturing and packaging space, yet so many obstacles still to overcome,” says Stephanie Neil, editor-in-chief of OEM magazine.  “Whether it’s fighting for pay parity or a promotion, it’s important for women to leverage some basic skillsets that will help them maneuver this male-dominated industry. The collaboration between PPWLN and the OpX Leadership Network is a first step in a larger effort underway to attract more women to this field while giving them the tools to succeed.”

“As a manufacturing professional with 20 plus years of experience, I’ve sometimes felt that I didn’t have control over my career path,” says Lisa Rathburn, vice president of engineering for T. Marzetti, who is also an executive council member of both the OpX Leadership Network and PPWLN. “I wanted to contribute to this project because I understand how difficult the road can be. Having information and an accessible network of like-minded people can make a big difference in an individual’s overall experience.”

The collaborative work of PPWLN, which serves to recruit, retain, and advance women’s careers in packaging and processing, and the OpX Leadership Network, combines cross-functional knowledge and information with a single goal in mind – to show how instrumental people are to the manufacturing and packaging process, and how meaningful this journey is for the women who are here today—and who have yet to come aboard.

The Connect, Share, Inspire: Voices of Women in Packaging and Processing work product, as well as other industry solutions, are available for free download at:

About PMMI

PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, represents more than 950 North American manufacturers and suppliers of equipment, components and materials as well as providers of related equipment and services to the packaging and processing industry. We work to advance a variety of industries by connecting consumer goods companies with manufacturing solutions through the world-class PACK EXPO portfolio of trade shows.

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