WASHINGTON, -  The Manufacturing Institute announced they will award 130 women with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. The STEP Ahead Awards honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in their careers and represent all levels of the manufacturing industry, from the factory-floor to the C suite.

For the fifth year anniversary, the STEP Ahead theme is “IMPACT.” STEP Ahead women all across the U.S. have made a pledge to promote the importance of women in manufacturing, and have made an impact on their companies and communities. New research by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS Supply Chain Council found that STEP Ahead Honorees and Emerging Leaders are promoted more often, have a clearer vision of their career path and aspirations, and are committed to encouraging future generation of women to pursue a career in manufacturing. The full report will be released at the 2017 STEP Ahead Awards, and will include data on the impact of women in manufacturing, as well as the impact STEP Ahead has had on the industry.

The STEP Ahead Awards, part of the larger STEP Ahead initiative, launched to examine and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research, and leadership for attracting, advancing, and retaining strong female talent.

In the Skills Gap: 2015 and Beyond study, The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte found that 80 percent of American manufacturing companies have a moderate to severe shortage of available, qualified workers, and less than a third of the manufacturing workforce are women. And, according to new women in manufacturing research conducted by The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS Supply Chain Council, less than 10 percent of women chose traditional manufacturing industries as the best in attracting and retraining women.  Closing the skills gap includes closing the gender gap.

On April 20, The Manufacturing Institute will recognize 130 recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards at a reception in Washington, D.C.  The STEP Ahead Awards program will highlight each honoree’s story, including their leadership and accomplishments in manufacturing. 

Learn more about The Manufacturing Institute’s continued leadership on women in manufacturing here.

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