In 2016, women accounted for just 29% of all U.S. manufacturing jobs. When you consider that women make up 47% of the entire U.S. workforce, that’s an alarmingly low number. What’s even more alarming is that the problem has nothing to do with job shortages. Instead, manufacturing is suffering from a significant shortage of skilled workers and ingrained misconceptions of male-dominated industry steeped in tradition. A new article in IndustryWeek lays out how gender diversity, combined with a skilled talent pool could be the answer to manufacturing growth. A 2015 study found that companies with gender diversity were 15% “more likely to outperform” their bottom line potential. That means gender diverse work environments have the potential to increase revenue and profits.
To achieve gender diversity, certain misperceptions that discourage women from entering manufacturing roles must be addressed and removed. Chief among those misperceptions are these three:
- Manufacturing is labor intensive work suited only for men
- There’s no work-life flexibility
- Manufacturing jobs are low-skill, lower-class jobs