AWMI began with the vision of Heidi Doran, as an organization that would offer meetings and forums to promote and develop the educational backgrounds and professionalism of women in the metal industries. Additionally, it would provide a networking system for its members to meet other purchasing, sales and management women to enhance their careers and career opportunities.

On June 3, 1981, the organization was incorporated in the State of California.  By April of 1982, AWMI felt strong enough to present itself to the entire industry and dispel the idea of “yet another women's group.”

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