Patti Gander

When I was younger, I wanted to be Angie Dickinson, who helped redefine women’s roles on television with her progressive character as a policewoman in the 70s. As I got older, I realized that becoming Angie wasn’t an option for me, however, manufacturing became a huge interest to me because of my father. My father worked in maintenance at a manufacturing company and I would go with him to work on the weekends, so this means I’ve been working in manufacturing since I was four.

Once when I was shadowing my dad, a guy from corporate came down and invited all the guys to play golf. This allowed me to speak up, which translated to my career in the future, and I stated that if he was going to exclude me, he’d have to pick a better reason. This moment symbolized how I dealt with any barrier in the future –– I would learn anything I could, which taught me that I have a love for learning and teaching. Manufacturing is still predominantly men, but the women that are in this field are making an impact and shaking up the industry. I believe that if there are more women in the industry, then fewer people will see gender and will only see great and talented individuals. I encourage women to work in manufacturing because it’s a field where there is no limit for growth and opportunity –– you can do and be anything if you put in the effort.

Patti Gander has been a Business Advisor for FloridaMakes since 2017 and serves as the Executive Director for the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Alliance of Missouri-Florida and she holds a B.S in Business, an MBA and a M.S in Management with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Development. Side note, she is a lead six sigma black belt. You can reach her at

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