If you are a loyal listener of The Women of American Manufacturing podcast, you may know this guest personally, or perhaps are just familiar with her name or the organization she founded and leads, WiM. What you may not know is that she likes to have Thanksgiving dinner for her birthday in August, enjoys listening to female comedian memoirs on audiobook, has had a passion for building community since she was in the third grade (!!!), and credits The Big Bang Theory with influencing her daughter’s academic interests. Today’s episode lifts the curtain on Allison Grealis, a woman who is no stranger to the manufacturing world, but who the manufacturing world could stand to know better.
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Why Allison is a woman in American manufacturing worth knowing
Allison has over twenty years of experience in association management. She’s a popular leader and public figure; last year, she had 38 speaking engagements. She has been a community builder and “joiner” her whole life. She is a passionate advocate for women’s rights and it is just plain cool that she was able to combine her professional interests and personal passions to build something so impactful.
Allison is also a savvy entrepreneur: she saw a need (women in manufacturing needed more ways to connect and support each other) and developed a solution (an association and education foundation dedicated to exactly that). Over ten years later, the association has never been stronger, and I am proud to help her share her personal story with our listeners. My hope is that someday, there are more than 1.5 million women in manufacturing, and both WiM and this podcast have had a positive impact on that growth.
A surprising thing that came out of the conversation
When she was in third grade, she published a newsletter to distribute to her classmates. Her father printed it for her at work and it even included a word jumble, a cartoon, and news of the day. See? An entrepreneur from the early days!
Key Takeaway: Women Supporting Women is the Best
Being intentional about where and how you build community and friendships is not easy and can be easily taken for granted. Allison felt at a young age that she was uplifted by being in all-female environments, so she was a Girl Scout, chose to go to an all-girls high school, and even joined a sorority in college. If not for those formative experiences of female camaraderie and support, she may not have developed her passion for women’s rights nor had the eventual inspiration for founding Women in Manufacturing.
If you enjoyed this episode, then check out WiM’s new podcast, Hear Her Story, and take Allison’s sage advice: “Why not try things? If you’re passionate about it, go for it.”
Favorite Answer From Rapid Fire Questions
Her most recent vacation was to a beautiful island near Charleston, SC called Kiawah Island. I’ve been, too, and absolutely love it there. Check it out!