Women in Manufacturing (WiM) and Thomas Insights have published the Career Advancement for Manufacturing 2022 Annual Report. The report outlines a number of key insights surrounding diversity and career opportunities for women in the manufacturing sector.
This year’s report reveals that while men are more likely to actively seek out a career in manufacturing compared to their female counterparts, 75% of women in industry say they are likely or very likely to recommend a career in manufacturing.
Additionally, Alabama and Virginia were recognized as the states with the highest female presence in the manufacturing sector, each with 40% women in their industrial workforce. On a national scale, the telecommunications, healthcare, and logistics and shipping sectors had the highest concentration of female employees.
To more effectively recruit and retain female talent, the report explains the significance of making female leadership visible and notes that management training and leadership have the most positive impact on career advancement for both women and men.
1. 1 in 3 manufacturing professionals and 1 in 4 manufacturing leaders are women.
2. The Telecommunications industry has the highest female employee presence
(39%), whereas Energy/Utilities has the lowest representation (30%).
3. Men (46%) are significantly more likely to seek out a career in manufacturing
compared to their female counterparts (30%).
4. Leadership/management training is the most widely offered and most impactful
resource offered to employees.
5. Women are significantly less likely to report that their contributions are valued in
manufacturing businesses and less likely to receive career advancement
opportunities (30% of women vs. 47% of men completely agree their
contributions are valued).
6. 75% of women and 80% of men are likely or very likely to recommend a career in
7. Professionals in the Agricultural (85%) and Logistics/Shipping (82%) industries
are the most optimistic about the advancement of women in manufacturing.
How to Recruit and Retain More Women
● “Foster the interest in math, science, and hands-on skills from an early age (elementary) on
through middle and high school. It’s too late to think we’ll catch people in high school.” —
Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Georgia
● “Make female leadership visible to all levels of the industry so that lower levels and younger
generations know it is possible.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Illinois
● “Include more women in the interview and hiring process. Create more hiring media that is
targeted to women.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Texas
● “Equal pay for equal work; reasonable accommodations for working parents; affordable
comprehensive healthcare options.” — Aerospace & Defense Industry, Virginia
● “Provide a way to create a more family centric culture with flexible hours especially around
drop off/pick up times from school, less mandatory travel, provide child care on site, and
more paid leave after birth of child or adoption.” — General Manufacturing, Kentucky
● “The industry could improve retention by designing policies and workspaces with all people
in mind” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Ohio
Why a Career in Manufacturing
● “Manufacturing is the life blood of the economy.” – Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Illinois
● “Job stability and being classified as an essential business for the supply chain… Incredible
opportunities for women and POC to go into leadership since there’s an effort to have
representation of diversity at all levels.” — General Manufacturing, New Jersey
● “Manufacturing is part of the backbone of this nation! It is who we were, who we are, and
who we will be if we remain focused. It provides primary and secondary jobs & careers that
in turn create additional opportunities.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Alabama
● “It is well paid. There is a lot of learning. It is interesting. Good people. The career can take
you many interesting places.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Maine
● “Amongst careers, it is the most versatile and prolific. Manufacturing will never go away, is
the cornerstone of a strong economy and creates a stable country.” — Automotive Industry,
Ways Manufacturing Companies Promote
● “We have an initiative to increase our female population to 30% by the year 2030 and we also have
sponsorship programs and mentor programs for females.” — General Manufacturing, Indiana
● “We just started a women’s ERG.” — Construction Industry, Texas
● “Specific development training with cohorts of women at similar career stages.” — Multi-Sector
Manufacturing, New Jersey
● “We have a specific women in engineering group that gets to travel to our different locations and get
tours, trainings, and networking opportunities.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Wisconsin
● “My company provides membership to Women in Manufacturing for all employees who wish to use
it.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Ohio
● “Our CHRO is very focused on increasing diversity within our teams. It is discussed at the C-Suite
level and is very much a part of day to day conversations, particularly as we recruit outside talent.”
— Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Ohio
● “Encouraging diverse panel interviews when recruiting.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Connecticut
● “Inclusive workplace initiatives (mothers rooms, female cut uniforms, etc).” — Food & Beverage
Best Career Advice for
Women in the Manufacturing
● “The more you pursue educational opportunities within your industry and workplace, the faster
you’re going to leave all the naysayers in the dust.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Ohio
● “Know your worth. Ask for what you need to be successful, don’t wait for someone to hand it to
you.” — Food & Beverage Industry, Minnesota
● “Do what you do with the strength and talents you have. You don’t have to do things the way a man
would do them to be successful, but neither do we need to exclude men. We need the opinions and
insight of every group to get a full picture of a problem and create a solution.” — General
● “Be strong. Be your own advocate. Work hard. Ask for guidance. Throw a rock at that ceiling every
day until it shatters.” — Construction Industry, Texas
● “Learn as much as you can from as many people as you can about the business. Take the time to
learn the process from start to finish. Read, listen and learn about the industry as a whole and how
you can make an impact.” — General Manufacturing, Connecticut
● “Bring yourself to the table. Don’t wait to be invited especially if you have the knowledge and see
the opportunity to make a contribution. Find a sponsor and a mentor throughout your career to help
you find your best opportunities for advancement.” — Multi-Sector Manufacturing, Pennsylvania
For a more detailed breakdown of key takeaways from this year’s report, download the full report here.
Women in Manufacturing (WiM) is the only national trade association dedicated to providing
year-round support to women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry.
WiM members benefit from exclusive access to educational programming, networking opportunities,
bimonthly webinars, a customized job board, a robust searchable directory, and much more.
Souce: Career Advancement for Manufacturing Annual Report 2021