Recognizing Women Leaders in Manufacturing
The Women MAKE Awards (formerly known as the STEP Ahead Awards) recognize women gamechangers working in the manufacturing industry who exemplify leadership within their companies. This national honor identifies top talent in manufacturing and further encourages award winners to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue modern manufacturing careers. The Women MAKE Awards give women across the country a platform to showcase the incredible opportunities the industry has to offer, whether they are running the company, designing the next big product or testing innovations on the shop floor.
In 2024, the Manufacturing Institute will recognize 100 women leaders (Honorees) and rising female stars (Emerging Leaders). Emerging Leaders is a category to honor women under the age of 30 who have achieved unique accomplishments at the start of their careers.
Why Recognize Women in Manufacturing?
- They deserve it. Women today account for less than one-third of manufacturing employees (29%) despite representing about half of all workers (47%). Yet, it was manufacturing that set the stage for a decades-long march of women into the workforce. Women working in our industry bring a strong skillset of problem-solving, collaboration, communication and mindful leadership. They navigate through unconscious bias, balance work and family life responsibilities, overcome imposter syndrome and have learned to lead, often without any female role models to show them the way. It is right and warranted for us to recognize and celebrate women’s contributions and achievements in what continues to be a male-dominated sector.
- It’s critical to solving the workforce crisis. Women represent one of the largest pools of untapped talent for manufacturers. Thus, closing manufacturing’s gender gap is key to closing the skills gap, too. Research shows that gender diversity benefits a manufacturing firm by improving its ability to innovate and grow. Women in previous generations showed the country what they could do through manufacturing, and it’s on us to inspire girls in the next generation to dream of what they can accomplish through manufacturing, too.