STEP Women’s Initiative

Science, Technology, Engineering and Production

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The STEP Women’s Initiative is the nation’s marquee program to close the gender gap in manufacturing. STEP works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by empowering 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. The goal is to shrink the gender gap and increase innovation by building networks and developing skills for women in the industry and to identify and elevate the role models who can inspire the next generation.

Deploying strategies based on in-depth industry research, the STEP Women’s Initiative has empowered, inspired and connected more than 5,000 women and reached more than 20 million people—and we’re just getting started.

Our biggest talent opportunity comes from closing the gender gap in manufacturing, so now is the time to supercharge our proven strategies and reaffirm that Women Make America.

Recognizing and Empowering Women

The 2021 STEP Ahead Honorees have been announced; view their individual profiles below.

View 2021 Honorees VIEW ALL HONOREES

STEP Women’s Initiative Chair and Vice Chair

The 2021 STEP Chair is Kathy Wengel at Johnson & Johnson and the Vice-Chair is Denise Rutherford at 3M.


Regional Events

STEP Forward events are community-based regional events and engagements.

Online Community

The community provides participants a place to connect, engage and share information and best practices in real time.


Get in touch to find out more about STEP Ahead Awards and upcoming events