Closing the Gender Gap in Manufacturing
U.S. manufacturers today face a tremendous challenge finding quality talent to stay competitive in the global economy. Part of the solution is to attract an untapped but talented demographic of people who are already making significant contributions to the field of manufacturing: women.
STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production) Ahead has honored more than 500 women across the United States in the past four years to help close the gender gap. The program has formed a strong network of ambassadors to lead the charge and attract the best and brightest women to careers in manufacturing.
This year, in concurrence with STEP Ahead, the Institute released a new toolkit called, LEAD: Becoming an Impactful Voice to the Next Generation of Talent. This toolkit is designed for women in manufacturing to reach the next generation of talent by being ambassadors for the industry. LEAD provides everything women need to begin engaging with female students and other young women in their region who will be entering the workforce.
STEP Ahead honorees and emerging leaders make a pledge to help advance women in manufacturing and promote the importance of a diverse workforce. They commit to encouraging women to pursue careers in manufacturing and help them succeed. Becoming a part of STEP Ahead, these women pledge to advocate for the manufacturing industry, mentor young women/girls, engage employee resource groups to generate ideas and share best practices, promote personal development, and/or lead as ambassadors for manufacturing education.
The Manufacturing Institute honors these women for making a difference in our lives and the lives around us – whether it may be small or large. Manufacturing is everywhere, and we are thankful for the strong women leading the industry.
Use #MFGwomen to become a part of the larger conversation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer McNelly is executive director of The Manufacturing Institute