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The Manufacturing Institute Launches Campaign to Close Gender Gap in Workforce


The Manufacturing Institute (MI), the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), announced their “35×30” Women’s campaign, an ambitious, industry-wide initiative to close the gender gap in manufacturing by 2030. The initiative aims to add half a million women to the industry, increasing women’s representation in manufacturing from 29% today to 35%.

The campaign builds on MI’s STEP Women’s Initiative launched in 2012, ongoing work to bring women into the manufacturing workforce. The initiative aims to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by elevating 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.

Regarding the new campaign: “For nine months in a row now, manufacturers have had more 800,000 open jobs, and we can’t make meaningful progress toward filling those jobs without closing the gender gap,” said MI president Carolyn Lee. “The 35×30 campaign is an unprecedented plan to strengthen our workforce and build the talent pipeline. We are thrilled to see the industry unite and recognize the power of women in the workforce.”

While women account for about half of the U.S. labor force, they represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce. Studies show that manufacturers can close the skills gap by 50% by bringing 10% more women into the industry, MI reports.

Access MI’s March news item about the campaign.

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