Do These 3 Things to Attract More Women to the Manufacturing Industry

If you ask women who don’t work in manufacturing about the industry, you will probably hear something about dirty factories, noisy assembly lines, low pay and sweaty men in overalls.

Those in the industry know this is only a tiny proportion of modern manufacturing. There is a wide variety of jobs, including high-level, high-earning jobs, in manufacturing in fields such as life sciences, technology, food production and automotive. Having said that, manufacturing has an unfortunate reputation for being old-fashioned and male-dominated.

Surveys of women on the industry have revealed major concerns about equal pay, several standards and the ability to uphold family responsibilities without being penalized.

Manufacturing also appears to do a poor job of educating young people, particularly females, about the industry. Young people typically don’t know much about manufacturing except if they have a relative who works in manufacturing. In one study by Deloitte, many women in manufacturing said they would encourage a career in the industry to other women. However, these same women would think about leaving their manufacturing job because of poor relationships, lack of opportunities and pay issues.

Below is a short list of ways manufacturing can do a better job.

Change company cultures

If a business doesn’t have a welcoming culture, it can hire all the women it wants but won’t keep them around for very long. An accepting culture includes providing equal pay, a transparent path for advancement, work-life balance support and healthy working relationships among genders.

Businesses must also work to get rid of the out-of-date notion that manufacturing is a “man’s industry” and refuse to tolerate individuals who perpetuate sexist attitudes. Just these transformations alone would have a massive impact on attempts to attract more female professionals.

Mentoring

Formal mentoring efforts for women can have a big effect on attracting and keeping women in manufacturing. These mentors should be women so other women will feel inspired and empowered. The women in the Deloitte study rated programs that help identify and raise the visibility of women leaders who function as role models in the top three most influential things their companies offer.

Formal and informal mentorship programs can permit a business to connect women workers with other women in the industry.

More exposure

Manufacturing should also make a greater effort to expose young women to the industry from an early age. Businesses can partner with local schools to show them the value of manufacturing and engage young people in those schools on the many career choices within the industry.

Think about having women from your business go out to local school so young girls can see that there is a place for them in the industry when they grow up. Female-only Q&A sessions during these visits can allow girls to ask questions they may not be comfortable asking in front of their male classmates.

At Labor Temps, we support our clients’ operations by providing them with well-qualified candidates for their open positions. If your company is currently in need of staffing assistance, please contact us today.