How and Why to Welcome More Women to Manufacturing and the Skilled Trades

Join us for a lively roundtable discussion with advocates for greater women representation in manufacturing as we discuss the challenges and opportunities in developing a more diverse, inclusive workforce.

This webinar was originally broadcast on September 18, 2023.
Now Available On Demand! 

It’s been repeated time and time again, manufacturing is suffering from a severe worker shortage, with many skilled positions simply going unfilled—and the outlook isn’t improving. Meanwhile, although women represent more than 50% of the workforce, they account for only 29% of manufacturing workers. And in some skilled trades, the numbers are even worse: According to the American Welding Society, just 5% of welders are women. Why isn’t manufacturing doing a better job attracting and retaining women?

Hear from Monica Pfarr, executive director of the AWS (American Welding Society) Foundation, and other advocates for greater women representation in manufacturing as they discuss the challenges and opportunities in developing a more diverse, inclusive workforce.

Viewers will learn:

  • Why increasing the representation of women in manufacturing is important
  • What you can do to create a more welcoming environment for women within your company
  • How to increase visibility of the opportunities for women in manufacturing


Monica Pfarr | Executive Director | American Welding Society Foundation

As an industrial engineer by education, Monica spent 12 years at General Motors in manufacturing engineering and manufacturing management. She also spent seven years leading non-credit manufacturing training at a community college. She has been with the AWS Foundation for 15 years overseeing workforce development and as executive director.


Audrey Van de Castle | Director of Digital Transformation – Operations Excellence | Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.

Audrey Van de Castle is the Director, Digital Transformation – Operational Excellence for Stanley Black & Decker. She leads a team of technologists who are focused on deploying various digital solutions on the shop floors of manufacturing facilities globally. Audrey enjoys combining people, process and technology to help people and businesses transform their performance.


Anna Smith | News Editor | IndustryWeek

Anna Smith joined IndustryWeek in 2021. She handles IW’s daily newsletters and breaking news of interest to the manufacturing industry. Anna was previously an editorial assistant at New Equipment Digest, Material Handling & Logistics and other publications.


Celia Reyes | Code Welder | John Zink Hamworthy Combustion

A graduate of Tulsa Welding School, Celia has worked at John Zink for 12 years. She holds an Associates of Occupational Studies in Welding Technology, as well as certification to be a welding instructor. (Photo credit: StrataTech Education Group).


Peggy Gulick | VP Advanced Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement - Energy | Kohler Company

Peggy was hired by Kohler in 2021, as Director, Digital Transformation, Enterprise. Prior to her time with Kohler, she spent a decade with AGCO Corporation, with her most recent position as Director, Global Strategy and Transformation.

She has over 20 years of experience in consumer products, both private and public settings, driving innovative thinking, advanced problem-solving, empowered cultures and operational efficiency. Peggy also chartered the Women in Manufacturing Minnesota Chapter and recently joined their board of directors.

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