Are Women an Untapped Labor Market for Manufacturers?

Only 29 percent of the manufacturing workforce is female, and with 2 million unfilled positions in manufacturing, employers should consider it an untapped market.

Data suggests there is potential. Among women in manufacturing, 70 percent say that if they could start their career today, they would choose the same path, according to a Manufacturing Institute study. Forty-two percent say they would encourage their daughter or a female family member to work in the industry.

Researchers suggest that manufacturers may more effectively build their female workforce by drafting an employee value proposition. Rather than telling women what manufacturing offers, learn what women want from a career in manufacturing.

Among suggestions in developing a value proposition:

Ask them what they do best. When you understand their skills and talent, develop and deploy them based upon that assessment.

Offer job flexibility. Achieving a work-life balance is especially important to this group.

Ensure inclusivity. Manufacturing has a reputation for sexism and harassment. Begin with policies and procedures on harassment, then focus on building a culture of inclusivity.