The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Women’s Initiative has made a difference in reducing the gender gap in manufacturing—in just the first five years, STEP Ahead Award winners have impacted more than 300,000 individuals, from peers in the industry to school-age children.

To date, we have honored over 1,000 women who are making a difference in their companies and communities, and we are excited to continue building this army of leaders in 2021.

The STEP Ahead Awards recognize women in science, technology, engineering and production careers who exemplify leadership within their companies. This national honor identifies top talent in the manufacturing industry, and further encourages award winners to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue manufacturing careers. The STEP Ahead Awards give women across the country a platform to showcase the incredible opportunities the industry has to offer, whether they are running the company, designing the next big product, or testing innovations on the shop floor.

STEP Ahead Honorees

The following women were honored with STEP Ahead Awards. Take a look at the amazing stories of these impressive women.


STEP Ahead Sponsorship Opportunities

The Manufacturing Institute offers gala sponsorship opportunities to companies and organizations that place a priority on female talent and the need for attracting, advancing, and retaining more women to the industry.


Women attending the event are still buzzing, and I’ve gotten lots of emails and LinkedIn requests from young women who were both encouraged and inspired.” – Marcia Kull, Vice President, Volvo Penta of the Americas

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