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Jennifer Snow-Boscolo: Attracting Women to the Factories of the Future

Thursday, March 28, 2024 |

This report is part of a series for Women’s History Month intended to highlight women who are making an impact on the manufacturing industry.

Jennifer Snow-Boscolo believes the manufacturing industry might have a marketing problem when it comes to attracting talented women to the industry.

“Unfortunately, when most people, including women, hear manufacturing, they think of the old images of the 3Ds (dirty, dumb, and dangerous),” she said. “The truth is manufacturers are makers and it's just so cool to know you are part of creating a product. All types of skills are required to run a successful manufacturing business and there's a little bit of something for everyone depending on their interests and skills.”

She is the Senior Director for Global Customer Experience for Genie, part of the Terex Corporation, and a Board Member of  Impact WA, the Washington State MEP Center, and part of the MEP National NetworkTM.

In honor of Women’s History Month in March, Snow-Boscolo shared her path into manufacturing and discussed the importance of drawing more people to the industry, especially those currently underrepresented like women.

“I think it's still viewed as a primarily masculine environment like teaching or nursing have historically been viewed as a more feminine environment,” she said. “You see that changing more and more in other industries and manufacturing needs to keep pushing toward equity. We need to demystify manufacturing and make sure women see themselves represented on the shop floor and beyond. There are so many great living-wage jobs in manufacturing and so many opportunities to grow your skills and expand your role as you develop.”

Snow-Boscolo graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in the 1990s and moved to Seattle to work for Boeing. A few years later, she planted roots at Genie Industries in Redmond, where she grew her career alongside Genie’s growth. She’s worked on the operations and supply chain side as well as the commercial and sales side. Now 24 years into it, she leads the Global Customer Experience team with direct and matrix reports spanning Washington state to Brazil, Europe, Singapore, Australia, and China.

She is passionate about her career, serving on the Impact WA board, and manufacturing as a whole. She was the past chairperson of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME) national board. She said that experience helped her step into the Impact WA board and well, make an “impact.”

“I believe the MEPs and the public-private partnership they embody is a best practice to enable support, especially for our small- to medium-sized manufacturers in our state and across the country,” she said. “I think of Impact as the nonprofit version of a manufacturing consultant, coach, or training organization. Through their MEP affiliation, they are more mission-focused than a typical consulting group. … Having healthy manufacturing businesses in our state is a key part of a thriving economy with living wage jobs.  I like knowing that I'm helping make WA and the US stronger by supporting the important work that Impact does in our state.”

She believes the industry has a lot of opportunities it could shine a light upon — especially for young girls dreaming about what their careers might look like.

“We need to showcase the factory of the future which is full of technology and automation with a first focus on safety,” she said. “We also need to expose more young girls to what it means to be a maker and get them excited about the idea of being part of designing and building products.”

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family skiing, biking, horseback riding, and traveling. As with any career, there is more demand than capacity, she noted. With a true manufacturing strategy mindset, she offers this advice: “You need to have boundaries and reflect on how it's working for you. PDCA (plan, do, check, act) in practice means you're constantly setting an intention, trying to execute it, then reflecting on how it worked for you and making adjustments — you need to do that for you.”

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