The share of women working in the manufacturing industry is at its highest point since April 2009. Over the last eight years, we have seen positive changes in the industry’s attitude toward recruiting, retaining and advancing women in this field, and greater improvement is possible. Manufacturers understand that society and their workforce benefit from having more females engaged in the innovative, creative and important business of advanced manufacturing.
Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent, totaling about 47 percent of the US labor force in 2016, — but comprise only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce. Women earn more than half of all associates, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees, increasingly outperforming men in acquiring advanced skills, yet they’re under-represented in both the manufacturing workforce and the specialized STEM fields most in demand in today’s industrial economy.