Thirty-one years ago, Mary Lynn Gargas-South was the sole female employee of over 200 salaried employees at ArcelorMittal steel in East Chicago. Today, 20 percent of the salaried and managerial staff is women, along with 10 percent of all hourly workers. Women in the steel industry, both on the floor and behind a desk, are on the rise.
Gargas-South began her career in the steel industry with an oxygen tank as a hands-on engineer. She has risen to the corporate office as a Human Resources Director. She has stated that the women of her generation have, “provided future generations (of women) with the opportunities to take the torch.”
ArcelorMittal is paving the way for females in this industry by sending out female engineers to lecture at Ohio State University, Penn State University, and Purdue University. They also have representatives in middle and high schools across the country.
Toni Brown, a woman who started her career in the steel industry in 1977, worked on a key punch operating program in Porter County and then moved on to craft school when she was only in middle school. It was not easy. She developed frostbite in her first week and changed departments so that she could get home in time to raise her children. Recently, she has put into place an energy saving system that is projected to save the company $1.4 million by the end of this decade
Women are a valuable resource in all sectors, but have become a particular point of investment for the steel industry. Florida Pipe & Steel salute our female engineers. For more updates on advancements in our sector and for all of your steel needs, contact Florida Pipe & Steel today!