Women in Manufacturing

Women in Manufacturing

Women represent one of the largest pools of untapped talent for manufacturers and play a critical role in filling the talent pipeline that will sustain industry growth. A recent study by Deloitte, in partnership with the Manufacturing Institute and APICS, found that women make up only 29% of the manufacturing workforce. Yet, from entry-level to more advanced positions, the manufacturing sector provides excellent opportunities to build meaningful careers.

“There are no limits to where a woman can work”, says Nikki Sullivan, Director of Continuous Improvement at General Kinematics. “If you cannot see yourself working hands-on to build products, there are also opportunities in the application of science to design them, selling products, or business support. All of the jobs that exist to support businesses in general also exist in manufacturing – but they come with the added pride of knowing we are making something real and valuable to others. Regardless of title, there is one common thread in the stories I hear back from the women I have mentored to consider manufacturing careers, whether they are welders, field technicians, machine operators, design engineers, or patent attorney’s – being in manufacturing makes them feel happier and a part of something greater than themselves, building a better world.”

Preparing for Your Career

Many manufacturing positions require college certificates and degrees or other industry specific credentials. You can get a jump-start on career preparation by completing dual-credit classes during high school, saving time and money by earning both high school and college credit at the same time. Other ways to reduce the cost of higher education include earning while you learn with apprenticeship and pursuing scholarship opportunities.

Manufacturing Career Opportunities

Professional Career Opportunities

Here are potential scholarship opportunities to explore:

1. Forging Industry Women’s Scholarships of up to $5000 are awarded to full-time graduate and undergraduate students attending a two- or four- year college or university in the fields of engineering, business or a comparable area of study. 

2. McHenry County College’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Scholarship provides need-based support of up to $10,000 for students preparing for careers in STEM related fields.


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