Sonita Lontoh, MIT MLOG '04, Inducted into Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame
MIT SCM alum Sonita Lontoh, MLOG ’04, is one of 15 women leaders selected for the inaugural class of the US National Women in Manufacturing Hall of Fame. The inductees were honored in an online celebration held October 1, 2020.
The Women in Manufacturing Association (WiM) provides career and educational resources and support to women working in the manufacturing industry. The WiM Hall of Fame recognizes leaders who have exhibited a commitment to growing the voice of women in the manufacturing industry and have created pathways for other women to succeed.
Currently a senior executive in HP’s 3D printing and digital manufacturing division, Lontoh is the executive sponsor for the company’s Women in 3D Printing and Women in Manufacturing initiatives. She’s been a passionate advocate for the advancement of women in technology for many years. Beginning in 2012, she served as both a mentor and a selection committee member for the US State Department's TechWomen program, receiving recognition for her work from then Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
HP has been a corporate member of WiM since 2019. Lontoh views her involvement with the organization as an extension of her work advancing more women and women leaders in technology. “3D printing & digital manufacturing are really about enabling digital transformation in the manufacturing sector,” she says, which is why the company, and HP’s women leaders in particular, “need to be exposed more to the manufacturing industry, not just the technology or 3D printing industries.”
“Women thrive in technology areas where they feel they can make a real impact. Areas such as 3D printing & digital manufacturing provide women with the opportunity to work in an emerging technology area that enables flexible and agile manufacturing systems, which contributes to ensuring supply chain resiliency, especially in the age of supply chain disruptions caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.”
Lontoh holds engineering degrees from UC Berkeley and MIT, and an MBA from Kellogg. With a professional focus on business and marketing, she’s found her sweet spot is working at the intersection of new technology, new business models and policy. Over the last fifteen years, she’s been involved with disruptive new technologies such as industrial IoT and 3D printing to enable digital transformation, both at new businesses within large Fortune 100 companies such as HP and Siemens, and within venture-backed Silicon Valley technology companies. “I really wanted to work in an area that is contributing something more to society, rather than just selling a product,” she says of her career choices.
The WiM Hall of Fame honor is the latest in the long list of accomplishments and recognitions that have earned Lontoh a place on MIT’s Notable Women Alumni list. She is a National Asian American Hall of Fame Inductee (2017) and recipient of the Entrepreneurship and Corporate Excellence Award and the Global Emerging Leaders under 40 award. She was invited by the White House to speak at President Obama’s Global Innovation Summit in 2016. She is a speaker and contributor to conferences and media such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, World Economic Forum, Forbes, Fortune, TIME, CNN, NBC, Reuters, the BBC, MIT Technology Review, the Huffington Post and others.