130 Women Receive Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Award



The Manufacturing Institute last night presented 130 women with the 2018 STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award, which recognizes women in manufacturing who exemplify leadership within their companies.

This national honor identifies the best of the best women in the manufacturing industry, and further encourages women to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue manufacturing careers. Last night, the Institute recognized 100 Honorees and 30 Emerging Leaders, a category that represents women under the age of 30 who have demonstrated leadership early in their careers.

“Manufacturing means honoring the people who built this country yesterday, supporting those who continue to do so today, and giving more Americans the opportunity to do so tomorrow,” Manufacturing Institute Executive Director Carolyn Lee said at the gala. “I’m convinced that the more girls and women hear their stories about what modern manufacturing looks like and what’s possible in it, the more they’ll dare to dream of what they can do in manufacturing too. And the women we’ve honored have the potential to inspire a new generation of manufacturers.”

Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women total about 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce, far below their representation in the U.S. labor force as a whole. In the first five years, STEP Ahead Award winners impacted more than 300,000 individuals, engaging in efforts to develop women in their careers and the next generation.

“Manufacturing in America will not be as strong as it can be until it better represents the women of America,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said at the gala. “I believe that we will reach our fullest potential when we have more women in the ranks of manufacturing leadership. That is the mission of STEP Ahead.”


The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.