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Women in Steel Conference Carves a Niche for Inclusivity in the Industry

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

In the heart of Pittsburgh, PA, this event marked a significant and purposeful stride toward progress and inclusivity within the steel industry. Hosted by the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), the inaugural Women in Steel conference became a melting pot of ideas, collaboration, and empowerment, setting the tone for a more equitable and inclusive future in the steel industry.

AIST Women In Steel Conference Banner. Steel Industry, Inclusivity, Diversity.

Advocacy for Women in Steel

Over the course of two days, the Women in Steel Conference discussed how to improve opportunities for women in the steel industry around the world. There was a series of thought-provoking panel discussions and inspirational keynote speakers who touched and expanded upon the importance of women in leadership roles and male allies in the workplace.

The conference was designed to promote learning and inclusion among its varied audience of over 250 steel professionals. These professionals, both men and women alike, come from a variety of backgrounds and include anything from human resource specialists to engineering students to operators on the melt shop floor. These are people who are motivated to close the gender pay gap, who saw the value in a career in steel, and who fought and will continue to fight to eliminate bias in the workplace.

While attendees demonstrated their dedication to diversity in the workplace, a spirit of cooperation was created amongst the audience because of the mutual understanding of the need to have a balanced workforce and the steps we as an industry need to take to reach that.

Networking and Collaboration

The conference provided an ideal setting for forming connections with new people and rekindling with previously known industry professionals. These exchanges were marked by a sense of common goal and expanded understanding on both sides. The connections made during the conference are expected to lead to beneficial collaborations, which in turn will promote an ecosystem of support, knowledge exchange, and innovation—all of which are crucial to propelling the steel industry forward.

Jesse Quiroga was one of the delegates representing EAFab Corporation, and her impressions of the conference capture its essence. Here's what she had to say about it:

“My memories encapsulate the conference's spirit of teaching, inspiration, and networking. Meeting prominent figures like Karin J. Lund, author of Women in Steel Women of Steel, and discussing gender inequality highlighted the conference's importance and influence.”

Promoting Inclusivity

The conference highlighted active attempts to increase female participation in the steel industry and STEM alike. The lively panel discussions and keynote speakers' tales showed how women have challenged industry standards to help themselves and others. These narratives inspired reflection, conversation, and action to promote diversity in their fields.

Eliminating the Gender Gap

Efforts to narrow the gender gap were another key focus of the gathering. Panelists discussed gender injustice and women's challenges in male-dominated environments with enhancing talks. These speakers highlighted the absolute need to detect and battle unconscious bias in the workplace to create an atmosphere that supports gender equality and diversity.

The conference also highlighted the crucial role of women leaders in creating a more equitable industry landscape. Success stories of women showed the importance of representation and empowerment. The conference allowed women to share their personal experiences, triumphs, and struggles, fostering camaraderie and encouragement – all while stressing the need to support and raise each other in progress.

It was a venue for building connections, collaborative efforts, and exchanging knowledge, instilling a sense of togetherness and mission. The learnings and relationships formed are set to usher in significant shifts as attendees go back to their respective workplaces with a rejuvenated commitment to diversity and inclusion.

EAFab’s Pledge for Transformation

We marked our presence this year with a keen interest in fostering diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. With a female CEO at the helm of our company, EAFab’s participation underlines the commitment to advocating for more women in STEM and the steel industry, highlighting the transformative changes to make the industry more welcoming for women.

Steel Industry, Inclusivity, Diversity.

EAFab values the learnings from women who’ve initiated inclusivity, and we pledge to be a change-maker in the steel sector. We vogue for more young professionals and bringing women into accelerated STEAM programs at the high school level, hoping to inspire more women to continue a professional career path in STEM. EAFab is committed to championing more welcoming policies and learning from the leaders who have paved the way for change in the sector.

Attending and promoting this conference is one small step in showing our support for women in STEM and steel. EAFab is earnest in embracing and promoting inclusive norms, and we hope to participate in more diversity and inclusion events such as the Women In Steel Conference in the future.

Wrapping Up

The Women in Steel Conference, held in Pittsburgh, PA, and hosted by AIST, stands as a significant milestone in the ongoing journey towards progress and inclusivity within the steel industry. We embraced the opportunity to share, learn, and reflect on the collective experiences and challenges that women face in the industry.

This gathering wasn’t merely an event; it was a catalyst – sparking conversations, inspiring reflections, and motivating actions aimed at achieving equity and inclusivity. The vibrancy of the discussions, the depth of the insights shared, and the genuine commitment to change that permeated the conference halls were indicative of a collective resolve to shape an industry where diversity is celebrated, and inclusivity is the norm.


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