Photo: National Association of Manufacturers
The women manufacturing leaders who were 2016 STEP honorees.

STEP Ahead for Women in Manufacturing

Sept. 8, 2016
The STEP Ahead initiative encourages women to pursue manufacturing as a career. Help this effort by nominating a woman manufacturing leader for this national award.

Research shows women are more likely to look for careers that offer personal and intellectual growth. In fact, women ranked opportunities for challenging and interesting assignments as their most important priority. Modern manufacturing offers more demanding and fulfilling roles, along with a range of career pathways and quality opportunities for growth.

Those who work in manufacturing are given the chance to solve the world’s problems, something that not many can say of their job. Manufacturing provides the opportunity to design and build the future, and even improve the quality of life of those around us. However, the industry lacks women to fill the roles manufacturers need. And as a result, the industry is suffering.

Across the total U.S. labor force, women earn more than half of the associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the U.S. Once in the workforce, they are advancing in their careers, holding more than half of all U.S. managerial and professional positions. So if there are plenty of qualified women, why aren’t they in manufacturing?

For this exact reason, we developed the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Ahead initiative to encourage women to pursue manufacturing as a career. STEP Ahead was designed to showcase the interesting and rewarding careers that the industry has to offer. It highlights these women on a national stage, celebrating their accomplishments to not only the industry, but to society as well.  

Every day manufacturers across the U.S. are faced with the skills gap challenge. The food we eat, the airplanes we fly in, and the medicine we take, all come from manufacturers that need diversity in their workforce to create these products. They need diverse talent, minds, and skills to keep the world running.

The good news is many manufacturers are turning the tables and making a more concerted effort to get women on board. You can STEP it up for women in manufacturing by nominating a woman leader you know in the industry. Through this nomination, you are raising awareness, supporting the industry, and helping to grow our future workforce. Nominations close October 7, 2016. Nominate today.

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