It’s no secret that women have been historically underrepresented in the manufacturing industry. From floor employees through technical roles and leadership, men still dominate the field. Industry insiders of all genders agree that things need to change and more women should consider careers in manufacturing. Here are some reasons why it’s so important to have more women in manufacturing.
Diversity Makes Companies More Competitive
Research has consistently shown that diverse teams are more productive, are better at problem-solving, and are simply more effective than teams that lack diversity. In fact, data shows that diverse teams simply make companies more profitable:
- Companies that scored in the top 25% for gender diversity also posted higher-than-average returns in their industry.
- Companies in the bottom 25% for gender and ethnic diversity were less likely to achieve above-average returns.
Diverse teams also help attract a higher caliber of talent, especially among younger workers. Generation Z prioritizes diversity more than any previous generation. If these young candidates don’t see people of diverse backgrounds at all levels of the company, they will lose interest in the role. Gender diversity (as well as age, racial and ethnic diversity) is simply good for business and it’s good for employee morale.
There Is An Untapped Talent Market In Manufacturing
Women earn more than half of all the associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the United States. Right now they also hold more than half of all managerial and professional positions – except in manufacturing. Women are the industry’s largest pool of untapped talent. There are well over half a million unfilled jobs in manufacturing right now, and women can help fill that gap and make valuable contributions to the industry.
Women Can Help Create A More Flexible Work Environment
Flexible work environments are becoming much more important for today’s workers and flexibility is commonly the most important benefit that women look for in a new job. However, manufacturing is notoriously inflexible, which is one reason why women have stayed away from the industry.
Hiring more women often leads to a culture of flexibility, whether it’s rotating shifts, job sharing, liberal family leave policies, etc. People of all genders can benefit from more flexibility and better work-life balance in a manufacturing setting.
Wages In Manufacturing Are Rising
Manufacturing has always been a field in which it was possible to earn a great living from the entry–level through the C-Suite. Wage disparity between men and women has been a hot topic over the last several decades – with very little movement. However, women who want to earn a great living can find it in manufacturing. Employers need skilled people and salaries reflect that need, so now is a great time for women to enter manufacturing.