Three BASF Women Leaders Honored at the Manufacturing Institute’s 2021 STEP Ahead Awards

Originally published at BASF ranked No. 12 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.


Three BASF leaders in manufacturing were among 130 women recognized nationally at The Manufacturing Institute’s ninth annual STEP Ahead Awards. Focusing on science, technology, engineering and production (STEP), the program recognizes women who exemplify leadership within their companies. Women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers across all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the executive level are selected for this honor, and the program further encourages award winners to mentor and support the next generation to pursue manufacturing careers.

BASF’s award winners include:

  • STEP Ahead Honoree: Elizabeth Monroe, Site Director in Beaumont, Texas
  • STEP Ahead Honoree: Kristie Pickering, Utilities and Infrastructure Director in Geismar, Louisiana
  • STEP Ahead Emerging Leader: Lauren Hampton, Compliance and Operations Engineer in Pasadena, Texas

The STEP Ahead Awards are part of the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Women’s Initiative, the nation’s marquee program to close the gender gap in manufacturing. STEP consists of the STEP Ahead Awards and a professional leadership development program, as well as regional STEP Forward events throughout the year. The initiative works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by elevating and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership, as well as by motivating alumnae to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation.

“BASF is strongly focused on increasing the representation of females in our leadership positions, and STEP Ahead is just one way we show our commitment and support for women in manufacturing,” said Tobias Dratt, President, BASF North America. “Each of our 2021 STEP Ahead award recipients has a unique, impactful and inspiring story of how they are making a difference for manufacturing at BASF and in their local communities.”

Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Female employees totaled 47 percent of the U.S. labor force in 2018, but only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. Not only does the STEP Women’s initiative bolster manufacturing’s attractiveness to women, it also plays an important role in improving the perception of careers in the industry among younger generations.

“Women in manufacturing proved themselves time and time again during the pandemic, driving innovation and progress, and they are now helping our industry build the next, post-pandemic world,” said Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “We will honor these manufacturing leaders with the STEP Ahead Awards, elevating their success and providing them a platform to inspire the next generation of women manufacturing leaders.”

BASF sponsored the annual awards ceremony, which was held virtually and in-person in Washington, D.C. on November 4. For more information about BASF careers and efforts that promote women in manufacturing, visit