Manufacturing has long been one of the mainstays of the American economy. Today, it still makes up a significant portion of the GDP in the United States. However, one of the major issues facing the industry is the issue of women in manufacturing. Here, we’ve compiled ten important facts about women in manufacturing that you should know regardless of your gender.
- The Growing Need for Women
Surprisingly, there is a growing desire for women in manufacturing jobs today. Even news articles and editorials note the importance of women in manufacturing. Moreover, there have been studies on the number of women in manufacturing and the barriers they face. Thankfully, their support organizations and schools help pave a way forward. Depending on the numbers at any given time, there are approximately 600,000 open manufacturing jobs, and women are the largest demographic pool that can help meet this need.
- Women in Manufacturing are Decreasing
Sadly, in a time when manufacturing grew significantly, the number of women in the industry decreased. Many facts about women in manufacturing are puzzling. For example, from 2010-2013 manufacturing jobs increased by over 500,000, but women lost more than 28,000 jobs in that sector. Both historically and currently, manufacturing has been dominated by men. However, a multi-level effort is underway to change the tide and fully open this field up for women.
- Success and Gender Diversification
Believe it or not, there is a link between company success and gender diversification. Research statistics prove that companies with women in leadership roles show increased rates of innovation and problem-solving. They also experience a higher return on equity, better annual valuation, and a wider range of decision-making perspectives. All of which drive business in the right direction.
- Women in the Workforce
Today, women make up nearly half of the workforce. However, less than a third of those jobs are in manufacturing. This stat shows the significant disparity that points to an excellent opportunity. Obviously, women are a huge part of the workforce, and manufacturing jobs are in high demand. With the push for women to enter manufacturing, it is likely that these numbers will continue to change rapidly in the next decade.
- Women and Success in Manufacturing
Interestingly, all these numbers show that women are positioned well to succeed in manufacturing. For instance, women receive over half of the nation’s earned associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. This places them in an excellent position to fill these roles. Finding ways to get women in manufacturing programs is one of the challenges set before the industry and one that it is responding to.
- High skill, High pay
The manufacturing jobs today are not the same as the jobs of our fathers. Before the technology boom, most manufacturing jobs were considered laborious and blue collar. However, technology has revolutionized the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing jobs available now require high skill level and are high paying. Think stereolithography.
- The Interest is There
For good reason, women are interested in manufacturing jobs. The most recent research suggests a renewed interest in women regarding the manufacturing industry. Changes are impacting realities throughout the industry. This perception shift could help funnel more women toward manufacturing related educational programs.
- School Programs to Focus on Women
More manufacturing programs in schools are focusing on women. At least that is the perception. A 2017 study showed an increase in women’s perceptions of school interest in women in manufacturing. This adds to the already growing interest women are showing toward the industry.
- Growth in Women’s Roles
As a result of increased interest, leaders in manufacturing want to see growth in the role of women in manufacturing. When interviewed, leaders – both men and women – in the manufacturing industry noted huge benefits for employees and companies when there are women in manufacturing roles throughout a company. Leadership focus in this area continues to chip away at the glass ceiling in the manufacturing world.
- Growing Support
There is a growing, supportive community of women in manufacturing. More and more organizations are seeking for ways to help empower and unite women. Combined with a growing interest in the field, support for women in this industry continues to increase. As independent and government studies highlight the disparity and opportunity, more people want to see women in manufacturing.
Across the country, there are great companies that want to provide a great opportunity for women in the manufacturing industry. At LTC Roll, we continue to usher in this new era of women in manufacturing. We understand the importance of women in these roles. Moreover, we know that women in leadership help increase innovation and return on equity. Check out our website and see how our processes are helping meet needs in the manufacturing world today.