Skilled labor shortages is a big pain point for manufacturers, and women may be the answer to filling those shortages. Even though women make up about half of the workforce, women’s jobs in manufacturing hover around 30% and have been going down in recent years. A study done in 2013 showed that even though the US grew manufacturing jobs by 517,000 – women lost more manufacturing jobs during that time then they gained.
Over 600,000 manufacturing jobs are going unfilled right now, women could be the answer in filling the gap. With a focus on getting more women and girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), we can shore-up the gap in equality and labor shortages in manufacturing. Here’s how.
- Change the Perception of Manufacturing Jobs
There is an outdated view of the manufacturing industry that may have impacted women’s desires to pursue a position in manufacturing. Perceptions like it’s a male-favored culture, that it isn’t flexible for mothers, and that the jobs available are often dirty, unskilled and labor-intensive. But, the opposite is more true. The majority of jobs that have grown in the manufacturing industry are high-tech, 6-figure paying positions that are interesting and rewarding. Women in these positions cite their compensation and opportunities for challenging assignments as top reasons to stay in manufacturing.
- View Women in Manufacturing as Good for Business
A study by Catalyst, a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding opportunities for women in business, found that businesses that achieve diversity in their management and corporate boards found their financials to be better than their competition. And that’s not the only study pointing to the same result – Columbia Business School and the University of Maryland also found that performance and innovation in business was stronger with women in top positions.
- Support Girls in STEM
Getting women interested in science, technology, engineering or math requires our society to start early in life – while girls are going through their fundamental learning of K-12. You can support them by becoming a mentor to girls in your community, open up your manufacturing plant to girls’ clubs, and offer summer internships or ‘shadowing’ programs to provide girls and women the opportunity to find different options in STEM fields. When you encourage the future generations of women in business, you’re ensuring your business success in the years to come.
Non-Profits and Information about Women and Girls in STEM:
While researching this topic for the blog, I came across a number of non-profits, initiatives and organizations that are supporting advancing women in STEM. Here’s your resource guide, in no particular order:
National Girls Collaborative Project – Engaging Girls in STEM
Energy.gov – White House Council on Women & Girls
Corporation for National & Community Service – STEM Mentor Toolkit
WhiteHouse.gov – Women in STEM (including a great resource guide at the bottom of the page)
Helping Automate Processes to help with labor shortages
Did you ever have a data-entry job? Not so much fun, and a simple data-entry job is often a revolving door of low-paid employees. Why not automate those data-entry jobs in your ERP system so your employees can focus on more fulfilling work? Contact us for an initial needs analysis to see where we can automate processes and you can have happy employees.