December 11, 2019 by Ronn
"In 2016, when Nandita Gupta began her professional career, she was mistakenly assumed by some of her new colleagues to be 'the new HR girl' rather than the new process controls engineer. It was a less-than-inspiring welcome into life as a professional woman in engineering, but Gupta was undeterred, committed to earning the trust of her direct co-workers as well as operators on the plant floor. Now, at 26, she is leading the effort at Georgia-Pacific to develop a mentor network that will connect young and rising engineers with experienced employees who can provide professional guidance and support."
That paragraph is from an e-book program put out by Connectiv member Putman Media this year titled 2019 Influential Women in Manufacturing. The 2018 e-book program was part of Putman's inaugural Influential Women in Manufacturing (IWIM), a recognition program honoring women, like Gupta, who are creating and leading change in the manufacturing and industrial production space.
This initiative was honored by SIPA as a 2019 SIPAward winner for Best Product Launch/Relaunch Success. When we talk about member/subscriber engagement, what can be better than recognizing—and energizing—an entire faction of your audience that has mostly gone unnoticed? If a publisher or media company can reach out to more women in such a positive way, then good outcomes will take place.
Here are more details from Putman Media's Influential Women in Manufacturing.
It focuses on accomplishments. "IWIM celebrates the wide-ranging, needle-moving accomplishments of women in industry and looks to spark conversations about best practices for building the workforce that will continue to drive the manufacturing industry forward," wrote Erin Hallstrom, director, digital strategy, Putman Media, in her SIPAwards entry.
Support from the top. Said Putman Media CEO John Cappelletti: "I am proud that Putman could play a role in shining a light on the extraordinary work being done by so many women in the manufacturing field. Our hope is that their achievements will inspire other young women to join this dynamic industry and be a part of creating manufacturing's exciting future. Congratulations to all IWiM 2018 honorees!"
Nominations poured in. In three months, 100 nominations were submitted. A seven-person team of Putman Media editors reviewed each entry. After evaluating entries against the criteria set forth in the nomination process, the team selected 22 women to honor for its first Influential Women in Manufacturing Awards.
A website, event and revenue. In addition to the 2018 IWIM 50-page program profiling and featuring comments from each of the 22 honorees and an IWIM webinar featuring three honoree as panelists, a new website was launched. Along with that came new social media channels, an awards breakfast at their annual Smart Industry event (pictured are the 3 IWIM creators from Putman) recognizing the honorees, and—through a sponsorship signed six months in—a five-digit amount of unforecasted revenue for Putman Media.
The program unearthed a new audience. IWIM created a network of female manufacturers that hadn't existed before. There are now Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.
Putman addressed a subject that that their audience sought leadership on. "Numerous clients and advertisers also commended the company and its brands for shining a light on a topic they themselves had been working to address," Hallstrom wrote. "Sponsorship opportunities for the program's second year have doubled—and in some places, tripled—because of Putman Media's commitment to promote this program."
The initiative led to offshoot activities. A Putman Media podcast series focused on "workforce issues impacting companies and individuals across industries through in-depth interviews with experts using new approaches to enact change in their plants, attract up-and-coming workers and overcome the skills gap."
Now this is storytelling. The 2018 and 2019 programs featured wonderfully written stories about each of the winners. "In oil and gas, as in Texas itself, everything is bigger—the production volumes, the investments, the safety challenges—and for Chevron Corp. in Midland, Texas, Calicia Johnson is making a big impact. In 2018, the projects she managed added more than 65,000 barrels of oil per day to Chevron's portfolio and helped Chevron reach record-breaking production in the Permian Basin."
It added to one of Putman's main events. An awards breakfast at Putman's Smart Industry conference showcased the first group of award winners—captured in a video hosted by the three women who created it.
It changed lives. "Not only the honorees, but our own," Hallstrom wrote in a blog last month. "We saw the profound effects of amplifying women's voices and connecting an alliance of women who were impacting the world in their manufacturing careers... IWIM was born out of a need to amplify and connect, and I'd like to continue that pursuit."
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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…