Oct 4 2019
It’s no surprise to manufacturers — and the companies who rely on them — that there’s a shortage of workers who can fill important production roles. This includes CNC machinists and programmers as well as engineers, scientists, and researchers. The industry needs to fill 4.6 million jobs by 2028, but it’s estimated that nearly half of these jobs will go unfilled. With so many positions sitting vacant, manufacturers are forced to turn down jobs. This could potentially have major economic impacts.
There are several reasons for the manufacturing labor shortage: baby boomers are retiring, younger generations aren’t going into careers in manufacturing at the rate they once did, and the unemployment rate has been dropping for the last decade.
With all that said, there’s one labor shortage cause that often gets ignored in these types of conversations: women in the industry are few and far between.
In this article, we’ll dive into how manufacturers can close the skilled labor gap by first closing the industry’s gender gap.
Women make up about half of the U.S. population, but only one-quarter of the manufacturing workforce. Additionally, women earn more than half of all associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees and women are employed in more than half of all managerial and professional positions.
With so many qualified female candidates in the U.S., manufacturers need to make it a top priority to win over this part of the population in order to solve their workforce crisis. Unfortunately, the reason 75% of women don’t see a manufacturing career as a viable option for them is because of inaccurate and outdated stereotypes that are still lingering today.
According to The Manufacturing Institute study, there are a few key strategies manufacturers can deploy to recruit and retain women — from the factory floor to the c-suite.
Although closing the gender gap in manufacturing will take time, small improvements can make big impacts. Recruiting and retaining women in manufacturing is good for business, so it’s time the entire industry made it a top priority.
This article is part of our #MFGDay19 series! We’re celebrating the manufacturing industry all month. Check out other articles from the series here:
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About the Author
SolidProfessor commercial content marketer and self-appointed World’s Greatest Dog Mom