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Lee Named STEP Ahead Honoree

Engineer At Essity’s Harrodsburg Plant To Be Honored

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Janet Lee, an electrical engineer at the Harrodsburg Essity plant, has been named a 2022 STEP Ahead honoree.

Janet Lee, an electrical engineer at Essity’s Harrodsburg plant, has been named a 2022 STEP Ahead Honoree by the Manufacturing Institute.

Lee is one of 100 women being recognized with a 2022 STEP Ahead Award for having a distinguished career in science, technology, engineering or production. The awards are a key component of the STEP Women’s Initiative, an industrywide effort to close the gender gap in manufacturing.

“Janet is an inspiration and role model for everyone on the Essity team—men and women, engineers, plant workers, front office staff, upper management—everyone,” said John Wells, Essity site manager for Harrodsburg and the Central Region. “We are proud to employ ambitious, dedicated women like Janet, who help break gender barriers in manufacturing, science, engineering and technology.”

Lee leads an all male team of electrical technicians at the Harrodsburg papermaking facility, and through her technical mastery, leadership and engagement, has delivered significant impacts in reliability, cost, and safety. Lee is also the leading mentor for developing electrical talent in her area. She focuses on encouraging more women to seek careers in STEM and leadership positions, and mentors her colleagues’ daughters through a job shadow program by meeting with them to discuss opportunities for women in the field.

Lee is an active member of her community as well, where she volunteers as a Girl Scouts troop leader, an after-school mentor at her church and a member of the production crew for Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour, a weekly music radio show produced in Lexington.

“Certainly, this is a very exciting and humbling honor,” Lee said. “I believe you need three things to succeed as a person and a professional: passion for what you do, compassion for the people who support and rely on you, and gratitude for every opportunity. I am so fortunate to have found my path with Essity, a company that prioritizes being a responsible member of the communities in which we operate and driving global sustainability. The rest follows naturally, whether that means leading a team in a new initiative or mentoring a young person and helping them pursue their STEP dreams. My hope is that, in some small way, my efforts will lead other women down a similar path of fulfilment.”

Lee will join the other honorees at the 2022 STEP Ahead Awards Leadership Program in Washington, D.C., April 27–28. The two-day celebration will feature the 10th annual STEP Ahead Awards presentation on the evening of April 28.

Essity employs more than 300 people at its Harrodsburg paper mill and Danville distribution center. The company manufactures professional hygiene products, such as paper towels, napkins and toilet paper, for the leading global brand Tork.

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