Women in Manufacturing Main Image

In Canada, women account for 48 per cent of the labour force but only 28 per cent of the manufacturing workforce. For more than 30 years this job share rate has not changed. Attracting more women into manufacturing professions is not only critical to help companies grow and replace their aging workforce, it provides women with careers that are high value, high tech, highly skilled and high paying. To better understand the current realities of women in manufacturing CME released Untapped Potential, an action plan identifying five areas where action is needed in order to increase the number of women in manufacturing:

  • More female role models are needed to inspire and encourage young women
  • Access to modern manufacturing facilities to help change the perception of manufacturing
  • More efforts to encourage young girls to pursue an education in STEM and/or the skilled trades
  • Businesses need to adopt more inclusive workplaces
  • Business need to find creative ways to improve work-life balance for employees.


Chaired by Tessa Myers, Vice President, North America Sales, Services and Solutions, Rockwell Automation, the member-driven working group, which includes women and men representing CME member manufacturing firms from across Canada, is dedicated to supporting, promoting and inspiring women to pursue careers in manufacturing. CME’s Women in Manufacturing Working Group is focusing its efforts on the following pillars:

  • Engage and inspire – introducing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and skilled trades to young women and girls
  • Attract and Retain – Increase women entering and staying the manufacturing workforce
  • Empower, Support and Accelerate – Helping women achieve success in the workplace

CME is seeking support from strategic partners for this initiative that share our vision for attracting, retaining and advancing women in manufacturing in Canada, including participation in the working group, examples of successful companies and women in manufacturing that can be used as industry benchmarks, and sponsorship.


  • B.C
  • Alberta
  • Saskatchewan
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Nova Scotia
  • New Brunswick & P.E.I.
  • Newfoundland & Labrador


Creating diverse and inclusive workplaces isn’t just good Corporate Social Responsibility. Diversity positively impacts your bottom line. CME is dedicated to promoting, supporting, and inspiring women in manufacturing. We are seeking support from strategic partners for this initiative that share our vision for attracting, retaining and advancing women in manufacturing in Canada, including participation in the working group, examples of successful companies and women in manufacturing that can be used as industry benchmarks, and sponsorship.


Contact: Camay Fortier Program Coordinator Women In Manufacturing 819-665-6662

Pledge Your Support > WE CAN DO IT!

Pledge your support to increase the number of women in manufacturing by 100,000 in 5 years. Become a champion today!


The We Can Do It campaign aims to increase the number of women in manufacturing by 100,000 in 5 years, bringing the total jobs held by women in manufacturing to 525,000 by 2023.


Pledge your support to increase female representation in your workplace. Become a champion of women of manufacturing. Register below today! With your pledge you will receive:

  • Certificate of Commitment to share in your workplace and a downloadable badge/certificate to display on your website demonstrating your commitment to increasing female representation the workforce.
  • Be listed as a champion on our Women in Manufacturing website.
  • Access to CME’s Women in Manufacturing events.

Together, We Can Do It! 


Breaking the mold: How the find your place in an industry dominated by men by BDC includes:

  • How a Newfoundland entrepreneur grew her business from 50 to 750 employees in 15 years
  • How two sisters successfully take over the family machining business

You are all ground-breakers and role models just like Rosie the Riveter.  You are the new generation of female manufacturers.  You design planes, computers, and furniture, figure out how to lay out an assembly line, help to make new cars faster and refrigerators more efficient, push the limits of computer chips, and invent new medicines.  You figure out how to make businesses greener, more productive and more efficient. Gone are the days of the dark and dirty shop floor.

Be proud of your achievements, share your accomplishments, and show everyone your modern-day Rosie pose.

Pose like Rosie and send us your selfies. If we can see you, we can be you.  Let’s go viral to encourage women to pursue careers in manufacturing. Show the world what you do. Use the hashtag #WeCanDoIt #NextGenRosie tag us @cme_mec and share on social media.


If you can see me, you can be me. Read HERstory to learn about the many rewarding careers in manufacturing. Be inspired.



To help attract women to careers in manufacturing CME in partnership with Fiera Foods established a scholarship awards program for women in manufacturing. This scholarship was created to support the education of women who are planning to pursue a career in manufacturing. CME and Fiera Foods will award a total of 10 scholarships each in the amount of $4,000 beginning 2018 through to 2020. 


SCHOLARSHIP CALL FOR APPLICATIONS – Helping to inspire and support the next generation of female manufacturers


Available to: Women currently pursuing an education or apprenticeship that will lead to a career in manufacturing
Award amount: In 2019 four (4) $4,000 scholarships will be presented
Award ceremony: The 2019 recipients will be awarded at CME’s Annual General Meeting & Manufacturing Conference on October 17th in Toronto

Deadline to apply for 2019 scholarship: September 13, 2019


How to apply

Tell us your story, why are you choosing a career in manufacturing?

To apply for CME’s 2019 Women in Manufacturing Scholarship, in partnership with premier partner Fiera Foods, email your story (maximum 1,000 words) as a Word attachment, filename saved as – Last name First name _CME Scholarship 2019 to camay.fortier@cme-mec.ca with the subject line “2019 Women in Manufacturing Scholarship.” Please include your full name, address and email on your entry.


Mentoring is a proven approach to drive rich learning and development for both mentees and mentors. Mentoring also benefits the sponsoring organization. For employers, mentoring increases retention, promotion rates, and employee satisfaction. A thriving, impactful mentoring program is within your reach. But great mentoring programs don’t just happen. They are built through thoughtful planning and sustained commitment to guiding participants through the mentoring process while continually improving the program. We will be updating this section soon with more information on how you can get involved.  



CME is committed to supporting, promoting and inspiring women in manufacturing and pursuing careers in manufacturing. In addition to CME’s initiatives, girls and women can access programs in communities across Canada to learn more about careers in manufacturing. Does your community program support women in manufacturing, STEM and/or skilled trades? Let us know and we will share the details on our page. Together #WeCanDoIt.


Kickass Careers – Engage. Educate. Encourage. The goal of Kickass Careers is to raise awareness and promote careers in Skilled Trades and Technology.
Skills Ontario – We are committed to preparing Ontario’s youth for the highly-skilled economy of tomorrow.  
Build a Dream– Build a Dream delivers specialized programs across Ontario to attract, encourage and empower female students to pursue careers in skilled trades, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), emergency response, entrepreneurship, politics and leadership.