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Women’s Numbers in Manufacturing Rise

By NAM News Room

More women are working in manufacturing, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and as reported Bloomberg (subscription).

What’s going on: “Women are now returning [to manufacturing jobs] at levels seen before 2020, after some age groups including those age 55 to 64 saw spikes last year,” Bloomberg reports.

The details: Women’s representation in manufacturing is going up across the board, but it has exceeded pre-pandemic levels among specific age groups.

  • “For example, 8.6% of the people who went into manufacturing jobs were women ages 55 to 64 before the pandemic but [that] increased to 9.1% in 2021,” according to the Census Bureau.
  • The biggest jump is in women workers ages 25 to 34, a group that has added more than 20,000 workers since 2020.

What it means: The growing number of women in manufacturing is great news for the industry, especially since it will need to fill approximately 4 million jobs by the end of the decade to keep up with current demand, according to the MI-Deloitte study. 

The MI says: “Too many Americans think of manufacturing as something of yesteryear,” MI President and Executive Director Carolyn Lee told ABC news for its story on these new numbers. “It’s not dingy, dark and dangerous. It’s full of technology and opportunities for collaboration.”

Looking ahead: “Women bring incredible value to manufacturing, increasing innovation and productivity, boosting employee morale and retention, and helping the industry close the skills gap,” said NAM Vice President of Strategic Engagement and Inclusion AJ Jorgenson.

  • “We must build on the momentum and continue to challenge ourselves to assess where there isn’t equal access to opportunity. The MI’s 35×30 campaign is leading the way with an ambitious, industry-wide effort designed to change perceptions by engaging with emerging leaders and students, leveraging mentors and collaborating with manufacturers on strategies to attract and retain female talent and broaden the pipeline.”
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