Raising the percentage of women in the manufacturing workforce by just 6% could fill almost every open job in the sector. That’s one of the key findings of a new joint study by the Manufacturing Institute and insurer Colonial Life.
Major takeaways from the study include:
- Women make up more than 29% of the manufacturing workforce and raising that to 35% could mean an additional 800,000 workers—enough to fill the sector’s open positions.
- Prioritizing workplace diversity is necessary to attract workers, increase productivity and improve a company’s bottom line.
- Companies with more worker flexibility have been better able to attract and retain employees.
- Lack of child care is a top issue for all workers, both men and women (though it is more frequently cited by the latter).
- Providing job training and continuing education opportunities and establishing mentorship programs and resource groups make a company more attractive to current and prospective employees.
Our take: “These latest findings make it abundantly clear that child care and flexibility are issues we cannot ignore if we are going to close the skills gap in manufacturing,” said MI Vice President of Strategic Engagement and Inclusion AJ Jorgenson.
Learn more: Join the MI on Tuesday, Dec. 6, for “Breaking Barriers: Childcare and Flexibility Solutions for the Manufacturing Industry,” a webinar featuring these and other recent findings about the challenges facing women in the workplace. Register here.