Woman In Manufacturing Leadership

woman in a manufacturing leadership position

How Women in Manufacturing Leadership Positions Could Help Close the Gender Gap

According to a recent study, women make up only 29% of the manufacturing workforce in the United States — despite making up about half of the labor force across all industries. Women are in the minority and underrepresented in the U.S. manufacturing industry. Many believe that in order to close this gap, there must be more women in leadership positions.

Why Is There a Gender Gap in Manufacturing?

It’s evident that there’s no shortage of qualified women in the workforce, so why are there so few women in manufacturing leadership positions? The problem of the lack of women in manufacturing positions is somewhat of a paradox. Because there are so few women in leadership, women are discouraged from going into the manufacturing industry, which leads to a smaller pool of qualified women to fill leadership positions when they become available.

The problem isn’t going to solve itself. Companies need to make a conscious choice to close the gender gap. But what’s in it for your company?

How Will Closing the Gender Gap Benefit Your Business?

Every business needs a strong, qualified leader at the helm. That’s not just manufacturing advice — the same is true for any industry. Encouraging women in manufacturing to step into these leadership positions can have several benefits for business.

Gender Diversity Boosts Innovation

According to a study of women in manufacturing performed by the Manufacturing Institute, employees who feel that their organization is committed to inclusion go on to report better performance in terms of their ability to innovate.

Visibility Draws in More Qualified Workers

Women need to know your company exists to apply for a manufacturing leadership position. Pour money and time into creating a marketing campaign that shows your company as a leader and a place where men and women alike want to work. When you close the gender gap with qualified workers, you can increase your bottom line.

Steps Your Business Can Take to Close the Gender Gap

If your company wants to close the gender gap in its workforce, begin with these steps:

  1. Start at the top: Ideally, your company should strive to improve the balance between men and women at all levels of the organization. Start by encouraging and promoting women at higher levels and leadership positions. Establishing these women as role models will go a long way toward inspiring other women in your organization — but remember that most of the effort for change has to fall on the dominant group, and in manufacturing, that’s men.
  2. Hold men and women to the same standards: The underrepresentation of women in manufacturing can lead to perceived gaps in the way they are treated. In fact, 71% of women surveyed by the Manufacturing Institute believed that standards of performance at their jobs differed for men and women, with 87% believing that women are held to a higher standard. Of course, this situation may not be the case at your company, but you should be aware of this perception and make a conscious effort to cultivate a workplace culture that values equality.
  3. Work on retention: Recruiting women is an obvious step toward closing the gender gap, but it’s not enough — companies also need to focus on the women who are already part of the team. Experienced women are most likely to stay with companies that offer good benefits and flexibility, and company culture matters too.

Excited to Close the Gender Gap? We Are Too

Closing the gender gap and getting more women in the manufacturing industry is more than just good for business — it’s the right thing to do. How will your business lead the way in closing the gender gap? Comment below to let us know, and follow our blog at Global Electronic Services to stay up to date with manufacturing trends and advice.

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