Toyota Material Handling (TMH) associate Kim Douglass has become the first woman to ever place in the Toyota Material Handling Group (TMHG) Global Skills Competition, earning a gold medal in the ‘Assembly’ category during the annual international competition in Takahama, Japan.
Douglass beat competitors from other Toyota group companies based in China, France, Italy and Sweden, as well as additional US participants from The Raymond Corporation.
“We couldn’t be prouder of (Douglass’) significant achievement and the way she represented Toyota Material Handling in this intense global competition,” says Tony Miller, TMH senior vice president of engineering, operations & strategic planning. “Kim never strayed from our core values and always approached the competition with respect and humility.”
Douglass, who has been with Toyota for 13 years, participated in TMH’s internal competition and was eventually selected as the company’s representative for the ‘Assembly’ category. From there, she challenged competitors from Raymond’s Greene, New York and Muscatine, Iowa factories in a regional competition prior to the big show in Japan. Douglass spent a full year in TMH’s training department as she prepared for the competition, practising for several hours every day while also helping train others in the dojo area.
It culminated in the nine-day trip to Japan – Douglass’ first trip outside of the US.
Douglass finished assembling the plates in three minutes and 16 seconds, and completed the torquing portion in eight minutes to earn the gold – much to her surprise.
“Kim’s achievement is more than just a win for TMH or even for Toyota; it’s a win for all women in the materials handling industry,” said Tracy Stachniak, TMH vice president of human resources, training & development. “We are committed to supporting and promoting diversity and inclusion in every way we can. Kim’s gold medal says one thing loud and clear – women can do it, too.”