Kickstarting Manufacturing Innovation With DEI Initiatives
There’s strength in diversity. The ability to welcome many viewpoints, rely on a multitude of experiences, and draw from a broad range of experience equates to a higher caliber of excellence — especially in the manufacturing industry. This is precisely why Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives have become a key talking point over the past several years.
As we look forward to a tumultuous 2023, there’s growing emphasis on the need for DEI efforts to fortify manufacturing for the future.
Spotlight on DEI
Manufacturing has lagged behind other sectors when it comes to diversity, but things are slowly changing. As organizations like the Manufacturing Institute and individual companies look to build a strong, skilled workforce that’s more reflective of our diverse communities, they’re identifying and addressing systemic barriers to promote a more inclusive culture. By encouraging a strong DEI culture, companies can change the perception of manufacturing and better cultivate a diverse, skilled, and innovative workforce.
A diverse workforce enriches the entire factory floor, creating more engaged employees who are willing to share ideas, solve problems together, collaborate, and so much more. A connected workplace is a pleasant workplace, and promoting diversity is a great way to retain a talented workforce that loves the work they’re doing and the people they’re doing it with.
The growing importance of DEI efforts
In the face of nearly 800,000 open manufacturing jobs each month, the Manufacturing Institute and other leading organizations have partnered up to change perceptions about the field and to encourage everyone, from all backgrounds, to consider a career in the field.
Initiatives like the 30×35 campaign aim to reach groups that are traditionally underrepresented in manufacturing. By showing the public that manufacturing really is for everyone, organizations and companies can create a bigger pool of available skilled talent — one brimming with fresh ideas.
Beyond creating a resilient workforce — one that promotes innovation, fresh ideas, problem solving, and dynamic interactions — DEI efforts are simply the right thing to do. After all, opening opportunities for everyone only leads to positive results.
By strengthening the workforce with a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives, manufacturers further infuse their business practices with integrity.
The need for manufacturers to create equity
There are significant benefits to reap when manufacturers embrace DEI initiatives. Widening the talent pool is a terrific way to bridge the hiring gap and place skilled talent, with fresh perspectives, into hard-to-fill positions.
Manufacturers can’t wait for diversity to happen — they must enable it. Start by aligning policies and practices with diversity in mind. Don’t just focus on hiring more diverse talent; think of other ways to support DEI goals, such as adding diversity to your supply chain by sourcing from diverse suppliers. Upskill and cross-train talent to provide advancement opportunities to your diverse talent pool. Or make efforts to facilitate mentorship in your organization for traditionally underrepresented groups.
There are many ways to build a strong, inclusive workplace in the manufacturing sector, and pursuit of this goal is an essential step toward creating the manufacturing field of the future.