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Women MAKE America is the nation’s marquee program to close the gender gap in manufacturing. WMA works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership, as well as by motivating alumnae to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation. The goal is to shrink the gender gap and increase innovation by building networks and developing skills for women in the industry and to identify and elevate the role models who can inspire the next generation.

Deploying strategies based on in-depth industry research, the Women MAKE America Initiative has empowered, inspired and connected more than 5,000 women and reached more than 20 million people—and we’re just getting started.

Our biggest talent opportunity comes from closing the gender gap in manufacturing, so now is the time to supercharge our proven strategies and reaffirm that Women MAKE America.

Recognizing and Empowering Women

The 2024 Honorees have been announced; view their individual profiles below.


Women’s Initiative Chair

Denise Johnson, Group President, Resource Industries, Caterpillar Inc.

2024 Chair Bio

Regional Events

Women Connect (formerly known as STEP Forward) events are an opportunity for MFG women to learn from and connect with each other.

Online Community

The community provides participants a place to connect, engage and share information and best practices in real time.

Increasing the Workforce to 35% by 2030

The MI’s Women MAKE America Initiative launched the 35×30 campaign to increase women’s percentage of the manufacturing workforce to 35% by 2030. This industry-wide, action-oriented campaign features a best-in-class female to female mentoring program and an alumnae-funded scholarship. It aims to add half a million women to the manufacturing industry by 2030.

Learn More

Ways to Achieve This Goal – Study from Deloitte

Since the first study in 2012, Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute have captured women’s progress in manufacturing. Deloitte published an updated report, highlighting statistics on women’s presence in the manufacturing workforce over the last 10 years, as well as ways to reach a 35% women workforce by 2030. Today, it is clear that the industry has several important opportunities to continue to close the gender gap.

View The Report


The Manufacturing Experience: Closing the Gender Gap

By embracing the diversity of its employee base, companies can positively shape their company’s culture, which can be attractive for identifying and retaining workers. In addition, by highlighting successful women at their companies, their female employees have become important role…

Case Study: Child Care Benefits – Abbott

Overview Abbott’s purpose is to help people live more fully through its breakthrough products. Achieving this purpose starts with Abbott’s people, which is why the company is committed to investing in its colleagues, helping them live their best lives personally…

Flexibility Approaches for Manufacturing Production Workers

From March to July 2023, the Manufacturing Institute convened a series of working groups with 17 manufacturers to discuss providing flexibility for production workers. The MI’s unique positioning as an insightful expert of emerging trends within the industry and effective…

MI Insider

Professional Development Resource: Building Your Personal Brand

March 1, 2023

On February 16, the Manufacturing Institute held a professional development virtual event on building your personal brand, presented by branding expert Cat O’Shaughnessy Coffrin, Founder and CEO of CaptivatingCo. View the recording here and the slide deck here. TOPLINE TAKEAWAYS …


Get in touch to find out more about Women MAKE Awards and upcoming events