DENSO engineer wins STEP AHEAD Award for her manufacturing excellence

Monique Radersma honored for her impactful career at DENSO and efforts to increase women’s access to STEM, manufacturing.

Monique Radersma, a former director of Engineering at DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Guelph, Ontario, has won a STEP Ahead Award from The Manufacturing Institute.

The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers, annually honors women with STEP Ahead Awards for their positive contributions tomanufacturing and their communities

Radersma, who recently retired, among 130 to be recognized at April 28 gala in Washington, D.C.

DENSO prioritizes creating inclusive work environments and supporting employees of all backgrounds, qualities that inspire continuous innovation

Monique Radersma, a former director of Engineering at DENSO’s thermal manufacturing facility in Guelph, Ontario, has won a STEP Ahead Award from The Manufacturing Institute. The STEP Ahead Awards annually honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory floor to the C-suite.

“It’s an honor to be recognized alongside an exceptional group of women committed to making an impact in their companies and communities,” said Radersma. “I’m proud of what I accomplished in my 35-plus years in the automotive industry, with over 15 of those at DENSO, and am excited to use the skills I’ve built in that time to continue to encourage women to pursue technical fields.”

Radersma, who retired at the end of last year, began her career at DENSO in 2005. She soon took roles of increasing responsibility and was later promoted to director of Engineering. In this position, she developed a quality management system that helped secure business with a major North American automaker, generating millions in sales. Radersma also helped pioneer the Women in Engineering business resource group at DENSO’s Guelph location and developed programs to grow female team members’ skills.

Outside of work, Radersma has and continues to advocate for women in STEM, speaking at conferences, mentoring students and supporting education initiatives that encourage young women to explore the sciences. 

“Monique entered engineering when not many women were in the profession,” said Denise Carlson, vice president of DENSO’s North America Production Innovation Center and executive lead for Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). “Her skills, her leadership and her support of others throughout her career has not only inspired colleagues, but also young women who will lead our industry in the future.”  

In 2021, Carlson earned a STEP Ahead Award for her contributions to manufacturing and D&I. 

Now entering its 10th year, the STEP Ahead Awards have celebrated and supported the accomplishments of more than 1,000 outstanding women in manufacturing. On April 28, The Manufacturing Institute – the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers – will recognize Radersma along with 130 other women at a gala event in Washington, D.C.

“The 2022 STEP Ahead Honorees and Emerging Leader awardees are excellent representatives of the exciting opportunitiesavailable in manufacturing,” said Denise Rutherford, 2022 STEP Ahead chair. “These remarkable women and the leadership they show help inspire the next generation of female leaders to consider careers in manufacturing.”

Interested in working at a company committed to creating a more inclusive workplace to accelerate innovation? That values, respects, and welcomes insights from every employee? Visit to learn more about open career opportunities.

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