Empowering Women
in Manufacturing And Business

Successful women sharing their experiences and life stories that contribute to the greater good of all, improving products, making things better and safer, and fulfilling lives.


Want to be a guest on The WAM Podcast?


#157 Gender Equity, Equal Pay, and Making Manufacturing More Appealing to Women: A Conversation with Laura Putre

Beautiful woman reading magazine in cafe

In today’s episode of the Women and Manufacturing Podcast, host Linda Rigano sits down with Laura Putre, award-winning journalist and Senior Editor at IndustryWeek, to discuss the challenges women face in manufacturing and her first-hand experience of raising a family while also managing a very demanding career. Laura manages a network of 200 plus contributors and covers leadership in manufacturing and reporting on professionals who are changing the industry. Tuning in, you’ll hear a bit more about Laura’s personal journey, the advances and challenges she has witnessed in the manufacturing industry, and how employers can better appeal to women, as well as her advice for manufacturers wanting to promote diversity. Make sure not to miss this empowering and insightful conversation!


Linda Rigano

Linda Rigano is the Principal Consultant of The Rigano Group. Her expertise and enthusiasm for strategic and effective communication permeate all that she does as a consultant to B2B and B2C technology, manufacturing, supply chain, and publishing organizations to improve business performance and stakeholder relationships by building highly successful and measurable communications programs.

With over 20 years of industry experience, Linda has excelled in helping organizations advance the discussion of important industry issues. She was central to the development and promotion of ThomasNet’s annual Industry Market Barometer® (IMB) survey on the state of manufacturing, the ThomasNet/ISM “30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars” Recognition Program, and ThomasNet’s North American Scholarship Program. Linda also served as Director of Strategic Alliances for ThomasNet, and for many years was the Publisher of the Thomas Food Industry Register.

Throughout her career, Linda has been an active participant and presenter for manufacturing, supply management, and business associations. She is widely quoted in business and trade media, including Bloomberg BusinessweekNightly Business Report, and Industry Today. Linda holds an MBA in marketing from Fordham University.

Connect with Linda Rigano on LinkedIn.


Laura Putre

Laura Putre is passionate about the digital and human sides of manufacturing. As senior editor, Laura covers leadership in manufacturing as well as 200+ contributors in Industry Week’s thought leadership network. Growing up in Cleveland, manufacturing was in Laura’s DNA with her father a NASA engineer, her brother in manufacturing and her mom, a teacher.

Laura loves to write and report and is equally fascinated by the challenges both women and minorities face today in getting good manufacturing jobs. Her writing on these topics gained national recognition and several awards. She has been published in Slate, The Guardian Pacific Standard, The Root and Chicago Reader. Laura was also a co-founder of Belt, an online magazine devoted to long-form journalism – for and about the Rust Belt Region. Laura has worked in or around manufacturing for over 20 years. In her early years, she was editor of The Chicago Journal, where she managed all editorial for two downtown Chicago weekly newspapers. Laura leads with compassion and writes with authority. Her work here led the Chicago Journal to a first-place General Excellence award. She also enjoyed working for the Village Voice Media (Formerly New York Times) as a staff writer. She earned her MFA in English/Creative Writing from Wichita State University; and a B.S. in Newspaper Journalism from Kent State University. Laura encourages leads and ideas on manufacturers who are doing amazing things with leadership, technology, and culture. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn or @ lputreIW

special guest photo