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WOMEN IN STEEL ROUNDTABLE

PROMOTING A DIVERSIFIED INDUSTRY WORKFORCE IS VITAL TO RETAIN AND GROW AIST'S MEMBERSHIP.

 

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The Association for Iron & Steel Technology’s (AIST) mission is to advance the technical development, production, processing and application of iron and steel. Since 2018, AIST has been assessing barriers to entry for women in steel and has held a Women in Steel Roundtable at AISTech to learn more about the perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes of women employed in the steel industry.

At the AISTech 2024 Women in Steel Roundtable, it was proudly announced that due to the success of previous Women in Steel programs, the AIST Board of Directors approved a Women in Steel Standing Committee this past fall. This provides a formal home for the development of our Women in Steel programming within AIST’s structure.

There was a brief overview of the programs that laid the groundwork for the creation of the membership committee, such as past Women in Steel Panels, a quarterly Women in Steel Column in the Iron & Steel Technology publication and the inaugural, sold-out Women in Steel Conference that was held in Pittsburgh, Pa., USA, in September 2023. All of these programs have led to an overall increase of female membership within AIST by 96%.

With the insights and ideas of past Women in Steel Roundtables creating the foundation for the new membership committee, this year focused on ways AIST can support expanding the number of women in the steel industry and encouraging this audience to join the association and bolster the newly formed committee. The groups took a more in-depth examination of areas of growth for future programs and helped brainstorm the next steps to help further the mission of the committee. Topics of discussion included Gender Diversity and Inclusion, Professional Development and Mentorship, Recruitment and Retention, and Overcoming Challenges and Changing Perceptions.

Plans are already in motion for the 2nd Women in Steel Conference that will be held 16–18 September 2024 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, Pa., USA, with an expected crowd of over 500 attendees. AIST is looking forward to all the exciting opportunities the Women in Steel Membership Committee will be able to incorporate as they continue to further pave the way in their inaugural year.