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BorgWarner’s Julie Adkins Wins STEP Ahead Award

The STEP Ahead Awards recognize women for exceptional work in manufacturing and leadership skills.

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BorgWarner‘s Julie Adkins, senior manager of lean transformation, continuous improvement & operational excellence, is the recipient of this year’s Women in Manufacturing Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead Award. This annual award honors women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership throughout their careers and represents all levels of the manufacturing industry. Adkins is the fifth consecutive BorgWarner employee to achieve this recognition and is one of 100 exemplary women to earn the 2021 award.

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“Julie is exceptionally worthy of this award; she has an outstanding work ethic, is incredibly driven and embodies all of the qualities of a highly motivating leader,” said Felecia Pryor, executive vice president and chief human resources officer, BorgWarner Inc. “Beyond her strong leadership skills, her approachable and encouraging demeanor makes her a great role model and mentor for young women entering the field, helping inspire and sustain diversity in the workplace.”

Adkins began her career at BorgWarner in 2011 as senior program manager for Turbo Systems in Asheville, North Carolina. Throughout her time with BorgWarner, Adkins’ hard work and aptitude for leadership has shown through, with her leading a variety of different teams and departments as a senior manager over the years.

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In her current role, she is focused on building a competitive future for the Arden facility through the development of promising talent and a clear vision that aligns with the needs of BorgWarner’s customers and mission. She has leveraged her astute leadership and mentoring skills to develop a high-performing program management team that excels in technical expertise as well as management skills. She also continuously encourages her team to overcome challenges and presents them with professional development opportunities. 

Additionally, she coordinated a collaboration between all functional departments to support an official program management and change management process policy. This policy has significantly impacted the company by streamlining processes and improving accountability.

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She has also been recognized internally for her hard work and dedication by having the opportunity to participate in the BorgWarner Women’s Executive Forum, a high honor for exceptional leaders at the company that provides access to exclusive training sessions and high-level speakers.

Not only is Adkins a leader within the company, but she is in her community as well. She is co-founder and vice president of the board of directors for Read to Succeed Asheville, a nonprofit that aims to close the race-based opportunity gap through community-powered literacy programming that engages children, families and community partners.

“Women in manufacturing proved themselves time and time again after the pandemic began, leading our industry in innovation and progress. We will honor these manufacturing leaders with the STEP Ahead Awards, elevating their success and granting them a platform to inspire the next generation of women manufacturing leaders,” said MI Executive Director Carolyn Lee. “The skills gap persisted throughout the pandemic, but our STEP Ahead honorees will help us fight it—they’ll play a crucial role in bringing more talented, motivated women into manufacturing. We’re confident these honorees will serve as living proof that women can dare to dream of a fulfilling, rewarding career in the industry.”

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Recipients were recognized during an awards ceremony on Nov. 4 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

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