Lauren Powell

2020 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader

Senior Engineer, Production Engineering
Toyota Motor North America

My passion for manufacturing stems from a desire to have a positive impact on society. Manufacturing is so vast that there are always opportunities to collaborate with diverse groups of people and to learn new methods. It is an extremely rewarding career that consistently challenges me to better myself.

During her time in Production Engineering (PE) with Toyota, Lauren has been an outstanding asset to the company. One recent highlight was her role in the development of the new 500B Aluminum Slide Door. Using aluminum material is a Toyota first for this structure, and this presented unique challenges. Lauren led the Body PE activity for a cross-functional, international group that came up with innovative solutions, and her contributions were recognized by top management in each group. She also designed improvement initiatives used by her department and by other divisions, establishing her as a go-to person for education and support.

Beyond these contributions, Lauren has served as co-chair of the Division Workplace of the Future and as a Body Production Engineering Department Champion. The latter has been a key role in the success of the One Toyota transition to the new Production Engineering and Manufacturing Center (PEMC). She also served as department leader for the PEMC Open Houses and PE Expos in 2016 and 2018, and she is currently the division’s first representative to the Diversity & Inclusion Champions program.

Lauren embraces opportunities to support women, including co-ops and new team members at Toyota. She has been an active member of Women Influencing and Impacting Toyota and has participated in the PE Women’s Connection Network, with the goal of improving the overall culture in PE so all team members feel included and can perform at their highest levels.

As a leader in Toyota’s PE Ambassador program, Lauren also represents PE at various career events. She has participated in the University of Kentucky’s Engineering Day and the Central Kentucky Girl Scouts STEM Day. Her efforts have encouraged a diverse group of young people to recognize and embrace their talents, helping them build bright futures and improving Toyota’s pipeline of outstanding candidates for future roles.