Kathy Wengel to Chair 9th Annual STEP Ahead Awards

130 Women to Be Honored at Manufacturing Institute Awards Program Recognizing Women for Excellence in Manufacturing

Washington, D.C. – The Manufacturing Institute announced that Kathy Wengel, executive vice president and chief global supply chain officer at Johnson & Johnson, will serve as the chair of the 2021 STEP Ahead Awards.

The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C-suite.

“The 2021 STEP Ahead Honorees and Emerging Leader Awards reinforce the exciting career opportunities available in manufacturing and help inspire more women to pursue these careers,” said Kathy Wengel. “As an industry, we need to do more to increase the number of women in manufacturing and encourage their innovative ideas and ability to transform how we work while increasing productivity.”

Wengel is responsible for all aspects of the development and implementation of the global Supply Chain for Johnson & Johnson, as well as its Quality & Compliance, Procurement, Environmental Health & Safety, Sustainability and Engineering & Property Services functions. A strong developer of globally diverse teams, Kathy leads an organization across three business segments: Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Consumer Health. Since joining Johnson & Johnson in 1988, Kathy’s responsibilities have grown through a variety of strategic leadership and executive positions across the enterprise in multiple countries and in various roles within operations, quality, engineering, new product development, IT and other business functions.

“No one understands the importance of honoring women leaders in today’s manufacturing industry and inspiring more women to join tomorrow’s than Kathy,” said Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Awards—which provide today’s female leaders in manufacturing the recognition they deserve while simultaneously elevating role models who can inspire future generations to join them—are an important element of our commitment to helping foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by developing current leaders and engaging future ones.”

Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women totaled 47% of the U.S. labor force in 2016, but only 29% of the manufacturing workforce. The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead Women’s initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership for attracting, advancing and retaining strong female talent. In five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals—from peers in the industry to school-aged children.

About The Manufacturing Institute

The Manufacturing Institute grows and supports the manufacturing industry’s skilled workers for the advancement of modern manufacturing. The MI’s diverse initiatives support all workers in America, including women, veterans and students, through skills training programs, community building and the advancement of their career in manufacturing. As the workforce development and education partner of the NAM, the MI is a trusted adviser to manufacturers, equipping them with resources necessary to solve the industry’s toughest challenges. For more information on the MI, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.