Lucille Gartman is responsible for profit and loss of a manufacturing facility that uses proprietary technology in the manufacture of X30 Steelite™ brake drums for Class 8 tractors and trailers. The products offer a lightweight alternative to a traditional brake drum.

As a STEM professional trained in critical thinking, Gartman manages roadblocks at Meritor’s Franklin, Kentucky, facility and oversees the plant’s resources to ensure success. She is a key driver within teams that recently introduced advanced processes, including a new $4.2 million spin form cell and $1.6 million balancing system. Meritor has facilities, engineering centers, joint ventures, distribution centers and offices in 18 countries.

Gartman has excelled through various STEM-related positions. She launched her career as the first female employee in a lab at a tire company. After managing the lab, she joined Meritor back in 2000, moving up in STEM-related roles at multiple locations. Her teams at plants in Asheville and Forest City, North Carolina, took a disciplined, problem-solving approach to prevent safety, production and thru-put issues during the industrialization phases of new product launches. Preventing these types of issues as early as possible has been important throughout the lifetimes of the products and has contributed to Meritor’s competitive edge in the marketplace.

In the words of Lucille Gartman:

What barriers are in the way to closing the gender gap in STEM?
“I think we often create our own boundaries, and girls need to move ahead with in their career choices fearlessly. Is it risky? Yes, because girls often face parents and teachers who are not supportive due to stereotyping. Young girls do face gender biases, but in the professional world, there are no barriers to what they can achieve.”

How can the world increase diversity in STEM fields?
“Parents and teachers must do a better job of encouraging girls to engage with STEM by making it real, rewarding and fun. Ultimately, we need to increase the aspirations among girls toward these fields so they fully understand the possibilities.”

How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
“Today, the boundaries aren’t as limiting. More women are persistent in their careers – and they are succeeding.”

What can be done to move women forward in STEM?
“Girls and young women need a high level of exposure to female leaders. Introducing them to STEM careers is inspirational. We have to show them what is possible so they can come away and say, ‘I can do this, too.’ We have to impart the message that there are always bumps in the road and to never give up.”

Words I live by:
“Never stop growing. When you grow, you stretch yourself, and stretching can be uncomfortable. If you are not a little uncomfortable, you are not growing.”