There are few studies that examine the overall morbidity of women in industrial settings. Results from a surveillance program of 21,294 female employees of the US Department of Energy for a 12-month period are presented. Illness/absence data of 5 or more workdays were collected from an epidemiologic surveillance program at eight sites. Approximately 11% of the workforce reported an absence of 5 or more workdays in the 12-month period. The five most common disease categories accounted for 70% of all illness or injury absences among female workers. These were respiratory illnesses (22.1%), musculoskeletal disorders (13.2%), injury and poisonings (13.0%), genitourinary illnesses (9.8%), and digestive illnesses (8.8%). Sprains and strains were most frequently attributable to workplace conditions.