NEW YORK—A new study from Thomas and Women in Manufacturing (WiM) shows that  1 in 3 manufacturing professionals and 1 in 4 manufacturing leaders are women. The medical-healthcare sector has the highest female-identifying employee presence at 54 percent. The industries with the lowest representation include the automotive (29 percent); energy, utilities, oil and gas (28); and aerospace and defense (24) sectors. 

Additionally, the survey found that, overall, 62 percent of female respondents report that they 'somewhat agree' or 'strongly agree' that women have made significant progress in the manufacturing industry over the last five years. Plus, the majority of men and women in the manufacturing industry today are optimistic about the future of women in the sector.

The survey examined 465 industry professionals to determine workplace trends in the manufacturing, industrial, and related sectors to glean insights into bridging the gender gap, addressing the glass ceiling of women in manufacturing, and better informing diversity and inclusion practices within the industry.

"We're thrilled to shed light on the results of this benchmark study, further underscoring the importance of recruiting, training, and supporting women in industry to help better address the skills gap and improve diversity in the workforce," says Tony Uphoff, Thomas president & CEO. "We look forward to further supporting WiM's efforts to share best practices and resources for professionals across the industrial sector to help drive industry forward in its inclusivity efforts."

WiM is the only national trade association dedicated to providing year-round support to women who have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry. At present, more than 5,300 individual members representing nearly 1,000 manufacturing companies have joined the association. It encompasses manufacturers of all types and welcomes individuals from every job function, from production to the C-Suite.