SENECA, SC, May 18, 2022 – BASF Site Director Elba Lizardi, who manages BASF’s facility in Seneca, SC, was among 130 women recognized nationally at The Manufacturing Institute’s tenth annual STEP Ahead Awards recently. Focusing on science, technology, engineering and production (STEP), the program honors 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. To date, more than 1,000 women have been recognized as STEP Ahead Award recipients, and those women have impacted more than 300,000 individuals—from peers in the industry to school-age children.
Lizardi joined BASF in 2020 and was named site director at BASF’s Seneca facility in August 2020. She has more than 25 years of manufacturing experience and an extensive knowledge of precious metal technologies including refining, chemical product manufacturing, new product introduction, catalytic converter manufacturing, precious metal analytics and metal control security. Over the last two years, Lizardi has overseen a current site expansion that includes the addition of more than a hundred new employees, resulting in a significant increase in manufacturing capacity.
Lizardi is also a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), holds an MBA from Tecnológico de Monterrey and an Executive Certificate in Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management, Intercultural/Multicultural and Diversity Studies. One of Lizardi’s passions is paving the way for other women in manufacturing, which is why she advocated for the launch of BASF’s North American Apprenticeship Development Program at the site in Seneca. Aimed at increasing diversity at the site, the program has a special focus on recruiting women to pursue careers in manufacturing and is integral to BASF’s goal of increasing its number of women in leadership roles. (Find more information at www.basf.us/apprentice).
Along with Lizardi, two other BASF leaders from the Southeast region were honored: Julie Fay, Polyurethane Systems Operations Director at BASF’s facility in North Geismar, Louisiana, who was a STEP Ahead honoree; and Brittany Davis, Operations Manager at BASF’s site in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who was named a STEP Ahead Emerging Leader.
“We are proud to honor the 2022 STEP Ahead award recipients who are important role models in the industry and at BASF,” said Tobias Dratt, President, BASF North America. “This year’s event was inspirational beyond those in the room and underlines our goal to have more women follow in the footsteps of these leaders since a diverse talent pool is critical to the future of manufacturing. BASF is dedicated to supporting the next generation of female talent to pursue a career in the chemical industry.”
The biggest challenge facing manufacturers continues to be the growing workforce crisis—the shortage of skilled talent to fill open positions. Manufacturers could close the skills gap by 50% by bringing 10% more women into the industry. Women account for about half of the U.S. labor force but represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. STEP Ahead empowers and inspires women in the manufacturing industry. The goal is to build networks for women to have support in their industry and to elevate the role models who can motivate and mentor the next generation.
“The STEP Ahead Awards are central to the industry’s efforts to recognize and empower women,” said Manufacturing Institute President Carolyn Lee. “Our Honorees and Emerging Leaders serve as role models and have their own multiplier effect on the number of women in the workforce, paying it forward to help others find their way into a successful, rewarding career in modern manufacturing.”
BASF sponsored the annual awards ceremony, which was held virtually and in-person in Washington, D.C. on April 28.
BASF in Seneca is hiring. Pay starts at $19.50 an hour and increases for more experience. Find open jobs in Seneca at www.basf.us/sc. For more information about BASF careers and efforts that promote women in manufacturing, visit www.basf.us/women.
About BASF in Seneca
BASF is currently hiring. Hourly compensation starts at $19.50/hour and increases with experience. For more information, visit www.basf.us/careers. BASF’s site in Seneca is one of five BASF sites in South Carolina. The Seneca site employs 425 employees and additional contractors. This site is a specialty chemical catalysts manufacturing and precious metal refining facility. BASF customers use those products to produce a wide variety of products including pharmaceuticals, water treatment media for the removal of lead, arsenic and other impurities from drinking water, for fertilizers, herbicides, auto-emission catalysts, plastics, fragrances and more.
BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has more than 16,700 employees in North America and had sales of $25.9 billion in 2021. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit www.basf.com/us.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.