Survey: women are more likely to find career satisfaction in manufacturing than men

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A strong majority (79%) of women say they are satisfied with the progress they’ve made in the manufacturing industry over the last five years, up significantly from 62% in 2020, according to a report from Xometry’s Thomas division and the Women in Manufacturing Association (WiM).

The fourth-annual “Career Advancement for Manufacturing Report” also found that women are more likely than their male counterparts to recommend a career in manufacturing (80% to 74%).

In other findings, more than two-thirds of women (71%) said they did not intentionally choose manufacturing as their field of choice, but once in, recognize how their contributions are propelling industry forward. And the overwhelming majority of both women (90%) and men (67%) believe that diversity improves business outcomes.

“We firmly believe in the transformative power of women to drive the manufacturing industry forward,” Allison Grealis, President and Founder of WiM, said in a release. “This survey continues to validate the notion that women play a pivotal role in the industry and it is imperative to redouble our efforts in attracting and engaging more women in manufacturing to foster enduring change and fortify the industry’s resilience.”

The results come as 83% of companies continue to experience significant labor shortages, with industrial mechanics, maintenance technicians, and engineers among the hardest roles to fill. Sectors with the highest percentage of female leadership in manufacturing include medical/healthcare (25%), environmental (24%), and telecommunications (24%). And industrial companies with the highest percentages of female employees include telecommunications (35%), transportation (32%), and environmental (32%).

“I have a birds-eye view into the hiring trends in manufacturing, and the two biggest concerns I see are the lack of a skilled workforce and the continued lack of diversity,” Sophia MacDonald, Xometry’s Chief People Officer, said in a release. “As manufacturing continues morphing into a high-tech industry, the industry has opened a world of opportunities for women at all levels – and it’s up to all of us to evangelize those opportunities and support women in their professional journeys.”



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