Susan Elkington: Toyota’s first female manufacturing director
Susan Elkington is the first female director to Toyota’s largest manufacturing plant, located in Kentucky. She worked her way up through the company and has worked for Toyota for over 20 years. Elkington says she has always has an eye for process improvement, from the time she was a young girl on a farm. Elkington stated for her the processes are the best part of the job. She spent time in Japan working in the corporate offices but prefers overseeing the workers on the floor. She was quoted saying “I won’t be very far from a plant where I could go and visit on a regular basis.”
She has an immense amount of pride in being the first female director at the plant. Elkington stated in an interview “I know I have a lot of visibility being a female, and I take that as a huge responsibility. I know what it’s like whenever I see some of the great women leaders that have come before me.” Susan Elkington has implemented programs for workplace diversity and encouraging other young girls to pursue engineering as a career. In fact, her daughter just graduated college and got a job as an engineer at a different Toyota plant. Whether it’s on the factory floor or in local schools, Susan Elkington is definitely making a huge impact on everyone around her.