Women who graduate from STEM programs are more than twice as likely as men to pursue a career in manufacturing, according to a survey from the trade group Women in Manufacturing (WiM) and Xometry, an on-demand manufacturing marketplace.
Studying courses in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) prompted 38% of women intentionally to seek a career in industry, compared with just 18% of men with that same background, the two groups found in their third-annual “Career Advancement for Manufacturing Report.”
The annual survey released today also found that an overwhelming majority of women (82%) are likely to recommend a career in manufacturing, up from 75% in 2022, yet actual representation of women in the manufacturing industry has remained relatively unchanged. Since 2020, only one in four manufacturing leaders are women, a persistent sign that more can be done to help advance women in key leadership roles. Still, the number of women who believe they have made significant progress in manufacturing has nearly doubled in the last three years – up from 17% in 2020 to more than 30% today.
“While we are pleased to see the continued optimism from women in the manufacturing sector, the fact that actual representation has remained largely unchanged in all levels of the industry shows that more needs to be done to ensure inclusion and proper representation,” Kathy Mayerhofer, Xometry’s chief sales officer, said in a release. “The manufacturing industry of today is more high-tech and offers more leadership and entrepreneurial opportunities than ever, and we’d like to bring more women into an industry that is so pivotal to our global economy.”
By sector, the areas having the highest percentage of female leaders in manufacturing are agriculture (28%), electronics (27%), and environmental (27%), the survey showed.
The study was conducted online over a 13-day period from March 1 to 13. The research surveyed 1,170 North American suppliers and industry professionals who work at companies with revenues spanning from less than $1 million to more than $1 billion.
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