We could spend endless hours listing all the successful businesswomen in just Central Pennsylvania, not to mention the U.S. or world.
But looking at more recent statistics and studies, success in the manufacturing workforce could be either an untapped opportunity or an eroding one for women.
The Manufacturing Institute, the research arm of the National Association of Manufacturers, is leaning toward opportunity in this recent study of women in manufacturing and how companies can attract, retain and advance women.
But there's likely a long road ahead. When women were asked if manufacturing does a good job in promoting itself to women, the answer was a resounding 80 percent "no."
And if you're wondering whether that changed much with a woman's educational level, the answer is yes. But the more educated the woman, the less-favorable her view: 88 percent of those holding a master's degree said manufacturing isn't doing a good enough job attracting women.
That's distressing for the industry if it's seeking educated workers to design, engineer or run tomorrow's products, assembly lines and factories. Especially since women have been outpacing men in educational attainment.
Between 1980 and 2011, the percent of women earning at least a bachelor's degree jumped to 36 percent from 21 percent, or 8 percentage points higher than men attaining the same degree in 2011, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Men earning a bachelor's degree only increased to 28 percent from 24 percent in the same time period.
If companies are looking for lower-skilled workers, I guess that could at least partially explain why men have had a better time finding and getting manufacturing jobs in the economic recovery.
It certainly doesn't mean men in manufacturing are dumb. Far from it. Many manufacturers are looking for people with solid vocational skills that aren't part of a bachelor's curriculum. That's why companies form strong partnerships with trade schools and community colleges.
Let's back up, though. There is a significant difference in manufacturing employment trends through the economic recovery, as the National Women's Law Center outlined in March.
Between January 2010 and February 2013, manufacturing has added 535,000 men to its employ while losing 18,000 women, according to the center.
And the pace of hiring is vastly different. In fabricated metal products alone (an industry familiar to the midstate), hiring of men was up 16.3 percent compared to 2.5 percent for women.
Women were just 27.1 percent of the manufacturing workforce in May, which was down 0.2 percentage points, or 11,000 people, from a year ago, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 3.2 million women work in the industry.
Through all of this, it could be argued women are simply choosing successful paths leading away from manufacturing. There's nothing wrong with those choices.
Probably the most important perspective is that men and women can contribute significantly to manufacturing and are wanted. If companies can figure out how to find and retain the men and women they need.
Jim T. Ryan covers Cumberland County, manufacturing, transportation and workforce issues. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at email@example.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, @JimTRyanCPBJ.