Employee Spotlight: Beth Rollins, Excelling in Manufacturing Planning & Women’s Empowerment

  • Beth Rollins

All roads lead home. But for Beth Rollins, manager of Excellent Factory (EF) Planning at DENSO in Maryville, Tennessee, all roads lead back to DENSO. After leaving the company in 2012, she returned in 2018.

And she’s making quite an impact. She leads a team responsible for coordinating EF activities across the campus and serves as the engineering function in logistics and warehouse areas. Beth’s dedication to her job and team resulted in a peer nominating her for The Manufacturing Institute’s 2020 STEP Ahead Awards, which annually recognize women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership within their companies.

As if her “day job” doesn’t keep her busy enough, Beth is on the Maryville facility’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) steering team, helps lead their D&I task force and is co-chair of the site’s first Business Resource Group (BRG), Ladies Excelling at DENSO (LE@D).

Before DENSO launched its BRG policy in 2020, LE@D existed, but in a different capacity. Known as E3L (Engineering Ladies Lunch and Learn), the group, led by Beth and her colleague April Banner, brought female engineers from across campus together monthly for networking and training. Beth and April quickly realized the material being covered and discussed was of interest to an audience beyond engineers, so the group expanded to include employees from both technical and non-technical areas.

As part of DENSO’s observance of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, LE@D organized a panel discussion with three females at different stages of their careers and representing a variety of industries. This allowed attendees to hear diverse viewpoints and walk away with insights for their own careers and life. According to Beth, a co-host of the panel, her key takeaway was, “the importance of challenging ourselves, challenging others, challenging the status quo and challenging the systems.”

“I am proud of the BRG that April and I started,” said Beth. “Our forum has provided the opportunity for women from across campus who normally wouldn’t cross paths in their daily jobs to meet one another. It’s a form of collaboration and one way we align with and uphold that value of the DENSO Spirit.”

Beth is also fulfilled by her manufacturing career and sees women as a vital asset to the future of the industry, helping to fill the skill gap that exists and continues to grow. “Women bring a unique perspective that increases creativity and innovation,” she explains.