Women in Manufacturing

Women in Manufacturing

Women in Manufacturing

Did you know that fewer than one third of employees are women in manufacturing?  This has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.  However, now at a tipping point, manufacturing’s future depends on a diverse workforce. Even with the improvements in recent years, women are still under-represented in the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing in the U.S.

All U.S. manufacturing experienced a substantial decline in employment from 2000 to 2010.  This was largely due to the 2008 Great Recession but then the industry rebounded.  The industry started to rise again in 2021 after the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

Facts and Statistics

Some facts about women in manufacturing:

  • Women are about 47% of the American workforce but only 30% work in manufacturing.
  • One out of four management positions are held by women.
  • Earning on average 16% more than the national median annual income for women who are employed.

In fact, the need for more women isn’t just about numbers. As a matter of fact, women consistently provide significant business gains in this industry. Research shows that gender diversity in manufacturing leads to greater innovation and increased profitability


No doubt, technology will be a huge driver in getting more women into manufacturing. From industrial additive manufacturing to generative design and advanced materials, this industry is evolving. Those changes are exciting to women.  Women also want to work with the tools and technology that are making an impact today.


Organizations such as Women in Manufacturing and the Society of Women Engineers can play a huge role in ushering in the next wave of females to manufacturing. These mentorships are powerful because it’s not mom or dad or teacher offering guidance, but a woman that has achieved success in manufacturing.

Recruiting Women

Some ways the industry has been attracting more women and reducing the gender gap is by encouraging girls at a young age to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  STEM is not only a prelude to engineering, but also to innovation in manufacturing in the 21st century.


The STEM subjects are changing the perception of women in manufacturing. For example, some universities offer college credits to girls in middle school and high school in manufacturing programs.

Good news is that change is starting to happen. Even fact that “women in manufacturing” is being discussed at all is a significant step in the right direction.

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