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US-„Women in Stone” met with German „Meisterfrauen” during Stone+tec in Nuremberg

Meeting of women from the stone sector at Stone+tec fair 2018: (f.l.t.r) Ulrike Grebe-Velte, Angelika Marchner, Christiane Köpler, Magdalena Schönwetter, Sylke Lambert, Monica J. Gawet, Eva Maria Wolfer, Heide Schöne. Photo: Bärbel Holländer, „Naturstein” magazine

Both initiatives aim to strengthen the role of women in the stone business / Italy has „Le Donne del Marmo”

Representatives from „Women in Stone” and „Meisterfrauen” met during Stone+tec 2018 in Nuremberg, Germany. With similar missions to empower women within the stone industry, the two groups came together to learn more about each other’s history, organizational setup, and goals for the future.

Representing Women in Stone during the meeting were Monica Gawet (Tennessee Marble Company) and Magdalena Schönwetter (JMS Jura Marble Suppliers). Gawet commented: „It was an honor for me to represent Women in Stone and to meet these persevering women from Meisterfrauen, who — like our Women in Stone participants — are dedicated professionals working to support one another in their careers. I felt grateful that they took time to meet us and to share their challenges for promoting women in technical fields.”

Sylke Lambert, leader of Meisterfrauen, agrees: „The meeting in Nuremberg was a great enrichment. Unfortunately, not many of our women are strong enough to stand up to the men in charge who put many stones in the way of our empowerment. Our meeting with Monica and Magdalena gave me courage not to give up, but to seek new ways and new strong and influential partners.”

Women in Stone was established in 2014 and is powered by the Natural Stone Institute (before; Marble Insitute of America, MIA). With a mission to recruit, retain, and advance women in the natural stone industry, Women in Stone’s key programming includes an industry mentorship program, live education and networking events at trade shows, the Wine & Stone CEU program, and two annual awards for women in the industry: the Women in Stone Pioneer Award and the Women in Stone Empowerment Scholarship.

Meisterfrauen supports and empowers women within the stonemasons craftmanship in Germany. The Bundesverband Deutscher Steinmetze (National Association of German Stone Masons) currently organizes the annual Meisterfrauen seminar, which gives women in the stone mason craftmanship the opportunity for exchange, networking, and continuing education.

They are currently discussing other options which may award better support. The members of Meisterfrauen are women who work in stone masonry companies, especially working wives and partners. Currently, a committee of the Meisterfrauen works on a project to provide marketing material for stone masonry companies who would like enhance the role of graveyards and monuments as places to grieve. At the same time, the committee wants to give insight for students, parents and teachers into the stone masonry industry.

In addition to Meisterfrauen, Women in Stone has also collaborated in the past with „Le Donna del Marmo”, a group based in Italy. „We see that groups like Women in Stone are being created all over the world. There is apparently a global urge to encourage, empower, and enable women in the stone industry. We will continue to stay connected and support each other with resources, ideas, and our networks to help us grow,” says Schönwetter.

Natural Stone Institute, Women in Stone

Source: Natural Stone Institute

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(03.08.2018, USA: 08.02.2018)