Influential Women
in Manufacturing

What Is Influential Women in Manufacturing?

Influential Women in Manufacturing (IWIM) is a recognition program honoring women who are effecting change in the manufacturing and industrial production space. Founded by three editors from Putman Media, Erin Hallstrom, Alexis Gajewski, and Christine LaFave Grace, IWIM celebrates the wide-ranging, needle-moving accomplishments of women in industry and looks to spark conversations about best practices for building the workforce that will continue to drive the manufacturing industry forward.

Congratulations to our 2019 Class of Honorees

Read more about the 2019 class of Influential Women in Manufacturing on our press release. Congratulations to all of our honorees and nominees.

Visit our Registration page to buy your tickets for our 2019 Influential Women in Manufacturing award luncheon.

Career Development and Gender Diversity Survey

Women make up 47% of the U.S. labor force but just 29% of the manufacturing workforce. As the U.S. manufacturing industry faces significant skilled-labor shortages and plants contend with critical leadership transitions at all levels, women are playing a crucial role in evolving the industry for the future.

In light of this, Influential Women in Manufacturing wants to know: What does career development look like at your company? Is gender diversity on your company's radar? What opportunities have for career development have you seized – or created for yourself?

We invite you to take Influential Women in Manufacturing's first-ever Career Development and Gender Diversity survey. Your responses will inform future workforce stories on and will be included in a dedicated special report that will be available for complimentary download in fall 2019.

Complete the Survey

gender diversity headshots

Influential Women in Manufacturing Cover

Download the 2018 eBook

Putman Media is proud and honored to present the 2018 Influential Women in Manufacturing eBook. The 22 women profiled here, nominated by their peers in industry and voted as IWIM by an eight-member team of Putman editors, represent a wide range of industry verticals – from pharmaceutical production to oil & gas to academia to industrial automation and intelligence. The eBook contains profiles and inspirational quotes from each honoree, an introduction by Christine LaFave Grace, and "Talent shortage drives diversity initiatives" by Rockwell Automation.

Watch the On-Demand Webinar: Strategies to Retain and Advance Women in Industry

As manufacturers work to address their hiring needs and cultivate leadership for their organization's future, what strategies can help ensure that women are represented in the hiring and promotion pools? What are some of the keys to fostering a culture of inclusion — one that supports retention of female employees and elevation of innovative women leaders? This roundtable discussion features perspectives from three members of Putman Media's inaugural class of Influential Women in Manufacturing.


According to the Data

When we, the IWIM founders, came together to develop the IWIM program, we were all keenly aware of the much-talked-about statistics about manufacturing's projected workforce shortage. According to a widely cited study from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, U.S. manufacturers could face a shortfall of 2.5 million workers by 2025.

By now, this isn't news. Manufacturers already are contending with waves of retirements and are working really hard to convince young people that traditional perceptions of manufacturing are just that: traditional, outdated, not at all in line with today's sleek, clean manufacturing facilities and the efficient, high-tech reality of much of today's manufacturing work.

It's also not news that women can play a key role in addressing manufacturing's serious labor crunch. While women make up 47% of the overall U.S. labor force, they represent only 29% of the manufacturing workforce.

We know that manufacturing offers high-quality jobs with incredible opportunities for advancement. These are family-sustaining and personally rewarding jobs for individuals across a wide range of educational backgrounds and professional interests.

More than 70% of women who participated in a Women in Manufacturing survey from Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute last year said they believe women are underrepresented in their company's leadership team. 7 in 10 feel they don't see adequate representation of women in key decision-making roles.

Manufacturers and other industrial companies have made strides of late—Land O'Lakes in July named Beth Ford its new CEO; she became the first openly gay woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. Dhiv-ya Surya-de-vara became GM's new CFO on September 1; that move makes GM one of only 2 companies in the Fortune 500 (the other is Hershey) to have women in both the CEO and CFO roles.

These prominent, publicly visible appointments are good news. But there's more to do.