Recently, the Manufacturing Institute—the NAM’s 501(c)(3) workforce development and education affiliate—hosted its annual Women MAKE Awards, honoring 130 standout women in manufacturing. Among those honorees was Jennifer Hamann, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Union Pacific Railroad, who swapped a fashion merchandising major to a finance major to become an influential leader in manufacturing.
A flexible career: When Hamann reflects on her time at Union Pacific, she sees flexibility and a willingness to try new things as a consistent theme—as when she shifted from a position on the audit staff to a role in human resources.
- “The thing that I think is a great selling point about Union Pacific is that you can still get your paycheck from the same company, but you can make wholesale career changes over the course of your career,” said Hamann.
- “I’ve done that. … I’ve taken on roles that were totally different than what I had gone to school for, or what I started doing when I came to Union Pacific. And I think that’s a real benefit to businesses like ours.”
Serving with pride: According to Hamann, the 161-year-old company’s workforce takes a great deal of pride in what they do and prioritizes a team-centered environment.
- “There’s tremendous pride in the workforce,” said Hamann. “Our tagline is Building America, and that really is how we think of ourselves. Supporting so many parts of America’s economy and so many communities—that pride is a big deal.”
The goal: The MI is sharing profiles like Hamann’s online and across its network to elevate these powerful examples and help raise the percentage of women in manufacturing from 29% to 35% by 2030, the objective of the MI’s year-old 35×30 campaign. Read the full profile of Hamann here.
More reading: View the full list of this year’s Women MAKE Award Honorees and Emerging Leaders here , and learn more here about the Women MAKE Mentorship Program to help inspire the next generation of female talent.