Women who pursue an education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) are more than twice as likely as men to choose a career in manufacturing, according to a new report produced in partnership between Xometry and Women in Manufacturing Association (WiM). In fact, 38% of women intentionally seeking a career in industry graduated from a STEM program, compared with just 18% of men.
“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,” says Kathy Mayerhofer, Xometry’s chief sales officer. “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.”
“It is so encouraging to see that more than eight in 10 respondents to this year’s survey would recommend a career in manufacturing. We know that careers in this industry deliver powerful opportunities for individual advancement, fulfillment and prosperity and we are hopeful that the continued efforts of our members and industry to highlight modern manufacturing will recruit even more individuals into it,” says Allison Grealis, president and founder of Women in Manufacturing (WiM) and the WiM Education Foundation.
- The annual survey 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. 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.
- Agriculture (28%), electronics (27%) and environmental (27%) are the Top 3 sectors leading the charge by having the highest percentage of female leadership in manufacturing.
“This report underscores a very clear takeaway: the time for action is now,” says Cathy Ma, VP of growth marketing for Xometry’s Thomasnet. “We can and must take clear steps to affect actual and long-term change, to reposition manufacturing as a high-tech industry, to further support the women who are already working in industry, and to compel younger women to pursue educational and vocational opportunities in STEM.”