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Be a part of the STEP Women’s Initiative and help our women and our industry rise to new heights. The Manufacturing Institute launched this initiative to honor and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership. The STEP Women’s Initiative is a national initiative that includes an annual awards gala, community-based regional events and engagements and as well as an online community.

Get Involved

For a full list of sponsorship opportunities or a customized proposal, please contact:

STEP ahead awards stage photograph

National STEP Ahead Awards

We offer dinner sponsorship opportunities to companies and organizations that place a priority on female talent and the need for attracting, advancing and retaining more women in our industry. The Institute looks forward to working with all members of our industry to ensure the dinner is once again a success.


STEP Forward Regional Events

STEP Forward regional events give manufacturers an opportunity to raise awareness of their company and manufacturing as a whole by showcasing existing female talent and providing unique leadership opportunities to develop talent.

There are two main types of STEP Forward regional events:

  • STEP Forward full conference events take place over one to one and a half days and include about six hours of content (training, panels, keynotes) followed by a reception. These events include full promotional efforts, more comprehensive developmental training and gift bags for attendees. This program targets 150–200 senior level (director/VP) attendees with executive-level engagement in the keynotes.
  • STEP Forward lite events are custom-designed one- to three-hour events, including a women in leadership panel discussion, reception and optional breakout training before or after the event. These events include targeted promotional efforts and gift bags for attendees. This program targets 50–75 manager-level (manager/director/VP) attendees with executive-level engagement in the keynotes.


#MFGWomen and STEP Ahead Alumnae Online Community

More than 7,000 people have attended a STEP Women’s event—90 percent of them were women. Analysis administered by Deloitte indicates the STEP Ahead Women’s Program has helped raise the visibility of opportunities for women in the industry, manufacturing opportunities in the community and opportunities for women within their companies.

The Manufacturing Institute introduced the #MFGWomen Community platform to provide participants with an online community to connect, engage and share information and best practices in real time as part of the STEP Ahead Women’s Initiative. With more than 5,000 members and growing, the #MFGWomen Community allows you to interact and communicate with your peers, community leaders, educators and more.

Best Practice Sharing

The Manufacturing Institute is dedicated to providing manufacturers with best practice solutions for their workforce challenges. The Institute documents best practices on how manufacturers are attracting and retaining a quality workforce and highlights these best practice spotlights on a national level through social media and digital outlets, press promotion and Institute programs, such as the STEP Ahead Women’s Initiative and National Manufacturing Day.

Associations or corporate sponsors who wish to be profiled as the face of their respective industry on gender equity have the opportunity to be the official co-presenter of an industry-specific toolkit. This package is industry exclusive, with one “industry toolkit” per sector; yours will be the only industry best practice spotlight for the selected industry.

Additional Information

STEP underwriting and sponsorship investments go directly toward the program. Each investment underwrites key program elements that assist in providing support to manufacturing women and closing the industry gender gap.

Your contribution may also be tax deductible; please consult with your tax adviser to determine deductibility.

Download the STEP Women’s Prospectus


Past Sponsors

The Manufacturing Institute partners with companies and organizations that place a priority on female talent and the need for attracting, advancing and retaining more women in our industry.