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Making Their Mark: SME Celebrates Women in Robotics & Automation

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SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce, has recognized 20 successful female leaders working to broaden the use of robotics and automation in the smart manufacturing market globally.

This international group of women represent a comprehensive cross section of technologies in robotics and automation. Their common thread: a heightened awareness of the inherent impact humans exert on our planet, as well as the positive impact that concerted efforts in their various disciplines can have. The list was developed by SME’s Smart Manufacturing magazine, in consultation with several leaders – both women and men – from across the robotics and automation industries.

“Although we as an industry have miles to go in balancing diversity in manufacturing, those with the knowledge, creativity and drive to raise the level of technology and innovation can achieve success,” said Robert Willig, executive director and CEO of SME. “This group of women has not only the vision to create new products – and in some cases even new product categories – they also have the technological background and the business acumen to bring them to market and a willingness to teach others the processes necessary to make the next generations successful in our industry.”

According to Nicole Williams, who is among the women honored and who has been an SME member since 2019, getting involved in organizational and industry programs such as the FIRST Robotics Competition, for which she has been a volunteer for 10 years, has helped her reach out to young women to encourage them to develop their STEM knowledge and practical skills.

“My message to girls in FIRST is to get involved early, stay active and embrace every opportunity,” she said. “It’s the hardest fun you’ll ever have!” Williams works as the thermoplastics composite materials and process manager for The Boeing Co., in St. Louis, Mo.

The Feb. 2021 issue of Smart Manufacturing magazine provides a more extensive article detailing the accomplishments of the women selected in this exceptional group.

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