The Manufacturing Institute Will Honor Emily Schmitt,
General Counsel at Sukup Manufacturing Co.
SHEFFIELD, Iowa – The Manufacturing Institute announced they will award Emily Schmitt with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the C suite.
“I’m honored to continue the manufacturing legacy my grandpa, Eugene Sukup, started here in Sheffield in 1963. However, I imagine one major difference from then until now is that more and more women are engaged in manufacturing,” said Emily Schmitt, general counsel at Sukup Manufacturing Co. “Manufacturing is an industry that impacts so many. One thing that is extremely important to me is to make a positive impact here in our local community by providing meaningful jobs and supporting community initiatives. We are also making a global impact through the Sukup Safe T Home, a product manufactured here in Iowa which saves lives in hurricanes and other natural disasters. Manufacturing is an industry I’m proud to be part of, and I look forward to participating in the STEP Ahead program and meeting other women in manufacturing!”
“Women are the single largest pool of untapped potential talent within the manufacturing industry, and we must continue to do everything we can to promote gender diversity within this field,” said Keira Lombardo, Chair of STEP Ahead and executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods. “The STEP Ahead Awards program not only recognizes the incredible women in manufacturing who have an impact on the daily lives of people all over the world, it sends an incredibly powerful message to the next generation of female leaders that the manufacturing industry offers innovative and fulfilling careers in which women can thrive.”
“Providing more opportunities for women in manufacturing is more than just the right thing to do. At a time when manufacturers face a workforce crisis, and with women still constituting less than a third of manufacturing workers, it’s clearly critical to the future of our industry and the economy,” said Carolyn Lee, executive director of The Manufacturing Institute. “The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead awards—which provide today’s female leaders in manufacturing the recognition they deserve while simultaneously elevating role models that can inspire future generations to join them—are an important element of our commitment to helping foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by developing current leaders and engaging future ones.”
The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent. In five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals—from peers in the industry to school-aged children.
Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women totaled 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2016, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. Not only does the STEP Ahead initiative bolster manufacturing’s attractiveness to women, it also plays an important role in improving the perception of careers in the industry among younger generations.
On April 11, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C. The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing.
Emily is a third generation family member and serves as general counsel of Sukup Manufacturing Co. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and a law degree from the University of Iowa. Emily resides in Clear Lake, Iowa, with her husband, Andy, and two daughters, Wynn and Cece.
About Sukup Manufacturing Co.
Sukup Manufacturing Co. is the world’s largest family-owned and operated grain storage, drying and handling equipment manufacturer. The company is headquartered in Sheffield, Iowa, and covers 1,000,000 sq. ft. of office, manufacturing and warehouse space. The company employs more than 600 people, making it one of the largest employers in North Central Iowa. Three generations of the family are now active in the business.
Sukup’s product line includes on-farm and commercial grain bins, portable and tower dryers, centrifugal and axial fans and heaters, stirring machines, bin unloading equipment and bin floors and supports. Sukup also manufactures a line of material handling equipment that includes bucket elevators, drag conveyors and chain loop conveyors, as well as a line of steel buildings.
Sukup has six distribution centers located throughout the Midwest. Sukup products are sold throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as more than 80 foreign countries.