Roles of Women in Manufacturing Series: Human Resources — Brenda Diehl and Diane Ferrera

Two women share their journeys to manufacturing and human resources, and give advice to anyone seeking a career in manufacturing. 


Parts don’t get made without employees and the Human Resources (HR) Department handles recruitment, retention, compensation, benefits, training and more. The list is much longer, but, at its core, HR takes care of the employees. Brenda Diehl is the HR manager for Bracalente Manufacturing Group in Trumbauersville, Pennsylvania, and Diane Ferrera is the director of human resources for AccuRounds in Avon, Massachusetts. Both women share their journey to manufacturing.

Brenda Diehl and employees enjoy a training session.

Brenda Diehl and employees enjoy a training session. Photo Credits: PMPA

Brenda Diehl’s Journey

Brenda earned a bachelor’s degree in political science, then took a job as a restaurant manager. Knowing it wasn’t a good fit, she took some business classes at the local community college and provided general office help for Bracalente through a temp agency. She learned as much as she could about the business and, when the position opened, the HR manager position was offered to her. “I like to say Ron Bracalente and I grew up together at Bracalente,” she says. Brenda continues reflecting on her 34 years in HR, “The company continues to grow and thrive every day and so do we!” Brenda loves helping people and problem-solving. She enjoys making a difference in the employees’ lives, their families and being in a position to help the company.

Smiles all around as Diane Ferrera checks in with an employee.

Smiles all around as Diane Ferrera checks in with an employee. 

Diane Ferrera’s Journey

After earning her associates degree in science, Diane worked for a food distributer and retail grocery chain, and was exposed to a broad range of business processes. She worked her way up to human resource manager while earning dual bachelor’s degrees in education and psychology/sociology. She was then hired into manufacturing in HR, which led to her current position at AccuRounds. Diane enjoys working with people and enjoys learning. “For a small company with limited resources, AccuRounds is progressive and has a forward-thinking mindset,” Diane says. “I am privileged to be entering my 18th year at AccuRounds and I have seen countless improvements made to our work environment and culture.”

Advice to Women (or Anyone) Seeking a Career in Manufacturing

Brenda’s advice to those seeking a manufacturing career is, “Do it. Manufacturing in the U.S. isn’t going anywhere, A career in manufacturing provides it all — longevity, challenge, reward, community and connection. We need the best and the brightest. Commit to being something bigger than yourself.” Diane’s advice to those seeking a manufacturing career is, “Learning is a lifelong journey. There are different career paths available, and many skills are transferable into other fields and industries, so don’t limit yourself. Manufacturing is waiting for you.”

About the Author


Carli Kistler-Miller

Carli Kistler-Miller, MBA, has over 20 years of experience with communications, event/meeting planning, marketing, writing and operations. Email at PMPA.