Women Leading the Charge at Toyota, Honored with STEP Ahead Awards

Women Leading the Charge at Toyota, Honored with STEP Ahead Awards

Toyota employees honored with a national award for leadership in the manufacturing industry

WASHINGTON (November 5, 2021) – Two Toyota employees were honored last night by The Manufacturing Institute, at an award ceremony in Washington, D.C., with STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Awards.

The STEP Ahead Awards honor female leaders in science, technology, engineering and production careers for their excellence and outstanding leadership. This year, the awards recognized 100 honorees and 30 emerging leaders, comprised of 106 different companies. The two Toyota winners were:

  • Sandy Nott, vice president administration, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky
  • Rebecca Chmelev, senior engineer, Advanced Technology, Toyota Motor North America

“We congratulate Toyota’s STEP Ahead winners for this outstanding achievement and celebrate their exemplary leadership being recognized across the manufacturing field,” said Norm Bafunno, senior vice president of unit manufacturing and engineering at Toyota Motor North America. “At Toyota, we aim to elevate the perspectives and voices of all women within our company by empowering them to achieve their highest potential and inspire the next generation of leaders.”

Women represent one of manufacturing’s largest untapped talent pools. According to The Manufacturing Institute, females represent about half of the current U.S. workforce, but only 29% in the manufacturing industry.

“Women in manufacturing proved themselves time and time again after the pandemic began, leading our industry in innovation and progress,” said Manufacturing Institute executive director Carolyn Lee. “The skills gap persisted throughout the pandemic, but our STEP Ahead honorees will help us fight it—they’ll play a crucial role in bringing more talented, motivated women into manufacturing.”

The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead Initiative, launched to empower women in the manufacturing industry and drive them to mentor future leaders.

Twenty-one Toyota employees have previously received this prestigious award.

About Toyota:

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in North America for more than 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands plus our 1,800 dealerships.


Toyota has created a tremendous value chain and directly employs more than 47,000 in North America. The company has contributed world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 40 million cars and trucks at our 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama that begins production in 2021.

Through its Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.

Justin Posey
469-292-8839
justin.posey@toyota.com

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