The Manufacturing Institute presented 130 women with the 2023 Women MAKE Awards, which recognize women in the manufacturing industry who exemplify leadership within their companies and communities.

This national honor identifies the best of the best women in the manufacturing industry and further encourages women to mentor and support the next generation of female talent to pursue manufacturing careers. The MI recognized 100 Honorees and 30 Emerging Leaders, women under the age of 30 who have demonstrated leadership early in their careers.

“As I look out into the crowd, I’m humbled to be among so many extraordinary women—the creators, the dreamers and the doers, the makers,” MI President and Executive Director Carolyn Lee said at the gala. “Our Honorees and Emerging Leaders are champions at paying it forward and serving as mentors, and we’re aiming to replicate their example through the MI’s 35x30 campaign, which provides women in the industry an opportunity to mentor young women and girls—to be exemplary and uplifting role models.”

Women constitute one of manufacturing’s largest pools of untapped talent. Women total about 29% of the manufacturing workforce, far below their representation in the U.S. labor force as a whole. Last year, the MI launched the 35x30 campaign aimed at increasing the representation of women from 29% to 35% by 2030, which could fill all the open jobs in the sector today.

“In the day-to-day, it can be hard to appreciate the power of one example. But the ripple effect you can cause is incalculable,” National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said to the awardees. “Bit by bit, we’re changing how people—most importantly young people—see the role of women in manufacturing. You’re doing more than setting an example for young people, amid uncertainty and upheaval; you’re a beacon of hope and reassurance—rising to meet the challenges of our time.” 

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