Leading in a male dominated field can be tough, but the women of American manufacturing are as strong as ever.
Holder Mattress President Lauren McAshland Taylor, who accepted the Women Owned Manufacturer Award, had some amazing advice for aspiring women.
“Confident women know they belong and are often more capable than they are given credit,” said Taylor. “We have to use that power. Knowing confidently that you have all the ability and not taking no for an answer will get you far, and in some cases, all the way to the top. Follow your instincts and when faced with adversity, adapt and overcome. Believe you can and you will!”
Like many other women, Taylor believes that women are strongest when they come together and raise eachother up.
“In a room full of mattress factory owners, I stand out [as a woman]. It is my responsibility to use that platform to further our goals of more women in the industry,” she said. “I hire women, I put them in leadership positions, I seek them out in networking groups, I collaborate with them and I encourage their success. I believe a female-led business has an asset at the helm, and I want to drive the conversation to the point that we all view it in that light.”
This same inspiring rhetoric is used by several women involved in the Made in America initiative. The annual tradeshow is a chance for likeminded individuals to come together and see how they can benefit eachother, and it’s the perfect event to find female collaborators.
Beverlee Dacey of Amodex USA Stain Remover is another leader in the manufacturing industry who finds inspiration in her network.
“It’s really funny to see people’s reaction when they find out I’m the CEO,” said Dacey.
Before she became head of the company, her father expected one of her two brothers to take over the business.
“He felt manufacturing was not a women’s profession. He said he wished I was a boy because I’d be perfect for it. I told myself: ‘Oh, you’re going to eat those words,’” she told newstimes. “But he didn’t have a succession plan. He thought he was going to live forever.”
Her mother, on the other hand, was untraditional and encouraged her to follow her dream.
After attending Made in America’s last event, Dacey is excited to touch down in Louisville for this year’s show.
“What really struck me in 2019, was how many business owners I met that face the same challenges I do as an American made company,” she said. “It was super cool to meet other companies that source domestically and even to network and share intel on suppliers. you never know, you might meet someone that could benefit your supply chain!”
As for women in the manufacturing field, the future’s looking pretty bright. As the pandemic has brought on new challenges for American manufacturers, Holder Mattress and Amodex USA have come out stronger on the other side.
“The one thing I’ve learned is that every storm we’ve seen has brought a rainbow at the end and our ability to adapt and overcome has allowed us to be successful in even the most challenging of times,” said Taylor. “I believe women are more capable of adaptation and female leadership has been a strength for our business. I refuse to see it as anything less.”
Interested in attending Made in America 2021? Click here.