Meet Honeywells inspirational women leaders in manufacturing

Meet Honeywell's inspirational women leaders in manufacturing

 March 25, 2024

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Meet Honeywell Futureshapers Erin Poremba and Alexis Major, who are inspiring the next generation of women in manufacturing.

Here they explain how they got started in their careers and describe their roles with Honeywell, through to offering words of advice for those people who enjoy building things that make the world safer, smarter and more sustainable.

Inspiring women to work in manufacturing

Honeywell Site Leader Erin Poremba [pictured above left] works at Honeywell's manufacturing facility at Pottsville in Pennsylvania where Honeywell teams develop polymer film for pharmaceutical blister packaging.

Honeywell Operations Manager Alexis Major [pictured above right] works with personal protective equipment plants at North Charleston in South Carolina where the company's teams manufacture the gloves and sleeves worn by people who work on power lines.

Manufacturing has historically been a male-dominated industry and according to a 2023 report from the National Association of Manufacturers based on US Bureau of Labor Statistics data, women account for only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce in the United States.

Forging a diverse workplace

Honeywell Operations Manager

Alexis and Erin are passionate about helping other women to explore similar career paths.

“I encourage women to enter the manufacturing world because having a diverse workplace is extremely valuable – we need different perspectives, insights and experiences to help solve problems,” says Alexis.

Alexis and Erin are among the Manufacturing Institute’s 2024 Women MAKE Awards honorees, a program that recognizes women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership, and identifies top talent in the manufacturing industry.

Inspired to pursue a career in manufacturing

"I was inspired very young because I used to tag along with my dad to go to work at manufacturing facilities. I was able to view the equipment and watch products being made from afar. It was enough to become fascinated with how things were made. I’ve always loved manufacturing, the speed of the environment and being a part of seeing something made," explains Erin.

"I’m a chemical engineer by background, but I knew I didn’t want to spend most of my time in a lab or office. As an extrovert, I love to be around people, so I was drawn to working in a plant, and as an engineer, I like to help solve problems. Both qualities are critical to leading a manufacturing site," says Alexis.

Key lessons learned through their careers

"Never give up. To solve problems, you need to be focused on developing a plan and executing it. In manufacturing, we’re always faced with challenges, but if you’re discouraged and giving up, you’re not going to be able to resolve the issue. As a leader, I can use that knowledge to be able to encourage my team and help them stay focused," shares Erin.

"I've always encouraged folks to speak up. You may not think an idea you have will be valuable, but I've seen countless times that the littlest things have impacted safety and quality within the plant. That is what I've learned throughout my career – that people are the most valuable asset, and that is what brings me to work every day," comments Alexis.

Key information for the next generation of women in manufacturing

Honeywell Site Leader

"It's important to show the next generation that there are so many different roles in manufacturing. Making people aware of what’s out there is instrumental in getting people into those careers. I do my part to encourage women to learn about what types of career paths are available so they can learn that not all manufacturing environments are the same," explains Erin.

"I think it’s important for women to speak to other women in the manufacturing world and hear their perspectives on what it’s like working in the field, as well as challenges they’ve experienced, triumphs and advice. I find it meaningful to share my story as a mentor at my site and in my community," says Alexis.

Honeywell advocates for women in manufacturing

Honeywell Futuershapers apply their best self to thrive professionally and to relentlessly accomplish challenging work across a range of industries.

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