Women Who Make Their Mark in The World of Lean and Six Sigma

Women leaders in Quality and Process Improvement 

It’s understandable, in a way. Men, after all, invented Six Sigma for Motorola in the 1980s. Men also refined the system at Toyota, creating the Toyota Production System that remains admired to this day.

But gender plays no role in applying the methodology.  Women have been and still are excelling at applying Lean Six Sigma to make operations more efficient and effective.

Women around the world are beginning to make their mark in the world of Lean and Six Sigma.


The Pioneer: Lillian Gilbreth

There was one woman who paved the way for every other woman whom we now celebrate today: Lillian Gilbreth. She was an American psychologist, industrial engineer, consultant, and educator who was an early pioneer in applying psychology to time-and-motion studies. She was described in the 1940s as “a genius in the art of living.”

Gilbreth, one of the first female engineers to earn a Ph.D., is considered to be the first industrial/organizational psychologist. She and her husband, Frank Bunker Gilbreth, were efficiency experts who contributed to the study of industrial engineering, especially in the areas of motion study and human factors.

Gilbreth switched the focus of her graduate study from literature to psychology and earned a doctorate from Brown University in 1915. Her psychological expertise complemented Frank’s physiological and mechanical insights in their later writings Fatigue Study (1916) and Applied Motion Study (1917).

Gilbreth was a pioneer not only in her field but also in her life. She balanced her career and her family, raising 12 children and overcoming many challenges. She was a role model and a mentor for many women who followed her footsteps in the world of Lean and Six Sigma.

Women Leaders in the International Lean Six Sigma Institute (ILSSI)

The International Lean Six Sigma Institute (ILSSI) is a global organization that provides accredited certifications, coaching, and consulting in Lean, Sustainable, Smart business processes and Digital Transformation.

The ILSSI has a diverse and talented team of women leaders who are making a difference in their regions and industries. Here are some of them:

– Juliane Haan, Director of Business Development for Portugal. She is the director of Operation at Frontdesk4U, a business consulting organization.

Juliane is currently working on business development, operations and account management with ILSSI and Lean Six Sigma Training. She is certified in NEBOSH international health & safety as well as in internal auditing.

– Jenny Davis, ILSSI Consultant for Scotland. She is a a certified Transformation Consultant, Coach & Trainer coach. Jenny is a programme mentor to young athletes and coaches across multiple sports. She has worked on large transformation programmes including replacing legacy systems with Enterprise Content Management, Workforce Management and Product Simplification.

– Andaluza Boncu, Account Manager for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. She is in charge of developing and maintaining the ILSSI business in these countries, as well as providing support and guidance to clients and partners. Andaluza is a highly skilled professional with expertise in consultancy and coaching, lean six sigma, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), and improvement methodologies. She is currently the Innovation Director and Lean Six Sigma Trainer at the Enviso, a multinational consultancy company and training provider.

– Dr. Anita Stalin, ILSSI Regional Director for India and a certified Lean Six Master Black Belt. She is a highly experienced professional in quality management and process improvement. Dr. Anita  has over 8 years of experience as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, and is also certified in PRINCE2 and KCMQ. This means she is an expert in helping organizations improve their efficiency and effectiveness by reducing waste and defects.

Dr. Anita has worked in a variety of industries, including education, healthcare, and manufacturing. She has a proven track record of success in helping organizations achieve their goals, and is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience with others.

– Albanesa Ymaya, Caribbean Regional Leader for the Dominican Republic. She is responsible for promoting and expanding the ILSSI presence in the Caribbean region, as well as providing training, coaching, and consulting services to clients. Albanesa Ymaya is a Lean Transformation Expert and an industrial engineer with over 20 years of experience. She is the founder and CEO of Ymaya Lean Academy and the YLA Foundation.

– Solange Mendes, ILSSI Community Manager for Madrid, Spain. She is an industrial engineer with an MBA, PLD, and a certification as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Solange has an extensive experience spanning both the national and international markets, including in critical contexts throughout the EMEA region. Over the course of more than 20 years, She has been developing businesses in the industrial, engineering and machinery sectors.

Dr. Olivia McDermott, ILSSI Regional Director for Ireland and University of Galway. She is the leader of the ILSSI operations in Ireland, as well as a lecturer and researcher in Lean at the Centre for Adult & Continuing Education, University of Galway. Her research interests are Quality 4.0, Industry 4.0, Lean, Six Sigma, and Operational Excellence. She has published and co-authored over 90 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference papers since 2021 and is currently involved in several global research projects around Industry 4.0 and Lean & Six Sigma.

– Beth Cudney, Professor of Data Analytics.

Mary Mcshane Vaughn, Six Sigma Statistician and Author.

– Alexndra Niculae, Coach and Mentor.

Ana Preda, Coach and Mentor.

– Patricia Esenault, expert in Business process and Optimisation.

– Catherine McDonald, Lean Coach.

Mona Asadi, Lean Six Sigma Trainer-The Netherlands.

-Júlia Rodrigues, ILSSI lean process leader.

These are just some of the women leaders who are part of the ILSSI team. They are all experts in their fields, and they are all committed to advancing and applying the principles and tools of Lean, Sustainable, Smart business processes and Digital Transformation.