Industry Spotlight: Association of Women in the Metal Industries
Founded in 1981 to promote and develop the growth of women in the metal industries. AWMI believes that women in similar industries can benefit themselves and their organizations through relationships, education and shared knowledge. The programs and activities of AWMI are intended to enhance members’ skills and experience, address challenges confronting the industry, and promote members’ career growth with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of women employed in the metal industries.
Mary Wardle, Steelscape’s Western Region Sales Manager, currently serves as International Vice President of AWMI. Mary has held several leadership positions within the organization at the Chapter, Regional and Executive Committee level and received the coveted ‘Member of the Year Award’ in 2015. Mary highlights that AWMI played a very important role in my professional development through the various positions held throughout the organization for the past 20+ years. When I first joined AWMI in the mid 1980’s the steel industry was going strong in Northern California and the Industry meetings were full of steel executives from around the area. It was a great time to network with the handful of women that were in our industry and to know that one day I could go on the road and sell steel! Unfortunately, many steel companies and Service Centers have left Northern California, where AWMI was founded, but there are a handful of us still involved with the California Chapter based out of Los Angeles area.
AWMI has certainly evolved over the years with 19 chapters across the US and Canada and over 1,200 members in 2019. AWMI is open to both women and men from the metal industries and there are several board positions at the chapter level that both women and men can hold. Every leadership role I have held gave me the ability to learn to run a small business, learn to speak in front of a crowd, manage multiple personalities on our boards, network and get to know other leaders across the US in the metal industries. I have been fortunate to have a couple of mentors along the way who have helped me both personally and professionally to move into leadership positions and also be there as a mentor for others new to AWMI.
To learn more about AWMI visit their website at www.awmi.org
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