News & Insights

We’re changing the narrative of the manufacturing industry one story at a time. CMTA’s award-winning storytelling team showcases California’s 30,000 manufacturers by uplifting the voices of our makers. Find industry news and the stories from those “Making California” below. 

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Press Release

CMTA Empowers Women in Manufacturing at 3rd Annual Women MakingCA Conference & Awards Presented by Union Pacific Railroad

Mar 5, 2024

Showcasing diversity, innovations, and opportunities in manufacturing for Women’s History Month

Sacramento, Calif. – In partnership with Union Pacific Railroad, the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA) proudly hosted its 3rd Annual Women MakingCA Conference and Awards, bringing together 200 attendees across California’s manufacturing sectors.

The full-day conference on March 5, 2024, at the Kimpton Sawyer Hotel was in celebration of Women’s History Month. This year’s conference highlighted the invaluable contributions of women in the manufacturing industry.

“The Women MakingCA Conference aligns with CMTA’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the manufacturing sector,” said Ananda Rochita, Vice President of Communications, CMTA. “By spotlighting the achievements of women in the industry, CMTA aims to inspire future generations and break down barriers for women pursuing careers in manufacturing.”

This women-focused event aided the conversation in addressing the challenges and opportunities in manufacturing with renowned industry leaders, key government representatives, and prominent panelists, offering inspiration to the next generation of female leaders.

Women in manufacturing jobs make 16% more than the national median annual income for women. However, they only make 72% of the median male salary in the industry, according to recent U.S. census data. On top of that, women make up 47% of the American workforce, but only 30% work in manufacturing, which is significantly lacking in the sector.

“Manufacturing offers women endless opportunities to make bold choices, grow personally and professionally and have rewarding careers,” said Beth Whited, Union Pacific President. “It’s essential that our workforce reflects the communities our railroad touches, and we are committed to providing an inclusive environment where all employees feel valued, engaged and inspired.”

CMTA presented awards to several women in the manufacturing industry after a three-month-long peer-nominated process. The 2024 honorees include Manufacturer of the Year: Nazeli Dertsakian, Genentech; Innovator of the Year: Elizabeth McAfee, Aemetis, Inc; Service Provider of the Year: Pamela Damato, IMSM; and Emerging Leaders: Catalina Elias, CalPortland, Jacquelyne Colvis, Siemens Mobility, Kayli Kowalski, Solar Turbines, Ana Oryall, Marine Group Boat Works, and Mallorie Hayes, Blue Diamond Growers.

The Women MakingCA Conference is hosted annually by CMTA during the month of March to celebrate Women’s History Month and recognize women in manufacturing. This is the third year CMTA has hosted the conference.


About CMTA

The California Manufacturers & Technology Association has advocated for pro-growth laws and regulations before the California legislature and administrative agencies since 1918. The total output from manufacturing in California is $300 billion per year, roughly 10 percent of the total economic output of the state. Manufacturers employ 1.3 million Californians paying wages more than $25,000 higher than other non-farm employers in the state. For more information, visit CMTA’s website.

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