Meritor duo recognized as ‘Women Worth Watching in STEM’

Meritor’s Linda Taliaferro and Lucille Gartman are among 45 individuals recognized as Women Worth Watching in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) by Profiles in Diversity Journal.

Taliaferro, vice president, Global Quality, and Gartman, site manager, Franklin, Ky., are profiled in a special edition of the publication.

“These two women have consistently used their STEM skills to drive innovation and value for our customers,” says Chris Villavarayan, president, Americas for Meritor. “They are exceptional individuals who deserve this recognition.”

In honor of their achievement and to further STEM education, Meritor will contribute $3,000 from the Meritor Trust Fund: $1,500 on behalf of Taliaferro to the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program and $1,500 to the Southcentral Kentucky Community & Technical College for Gartman. The Meritor Trust Fund has donated more than a half million dollars during the past three years to support STEM education at local schools, technical colleges and universities across the country, the company says.

Taliaferro, who has led Meritor’s Global Quality organization since November 2014, has more than 30 years of experience working with statistical data as a strategist who focuses on quality management and operational excellence. Her STEM education has been key to her leadership in quality, supply chain development and environmental and health and safety excellence for leading manufacturers.

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“Introducing girls to science and math at an early age is very important to advancing STEM-related careers among women,” she says. “I’m fortunate to work for a company that actively encourages STEM careers by supporting professional women’s organizations at the highest levels.”

Joe Plomin, president, International for Meritor, adds, “Linda sets a high standard among women pursuing STEM careers. Her life story and hugely successful career are beacons for girls and young women making choices about their future. As a corporate executive, an advocate and a mentor, Linda urges others to look beyond the limits and see what is possible.”

Gartman, who has managed Meritor’s Franklin, Ky., site since 2013, came to the company in 2000 after working for Tier 1 tire and weather strip suppliers in the passenger car industry. After spending the first half of her career working in quality, Gartman transitioned into the operations side of manufacturing. Since then, she has worked in STEM-related roles at multiple locations, including carrier assembly manager, housing manager and operations manager.

“I began my career in 1978, and when I look where women are now, it’s a whole different world,” says Gartman. “Women have to know there are no boundaries to advancing with a STEM career.”

Villavarayan adds, “By investing in STEM education, we are investing in the engineers of tomorrow. Lucille demonstrates this by actively mentoring young women during their high school years to focus on their education and future career opportunities. Today, Lucille continues to be a leader, emphasizing continuous improvement.”

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