Many manufacturing companies complain about the lack of skilled workers to fill their ranks. Yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women — who make up roughly half the U.S. workforce — account for less than a third of manufacturing jobs. Why are so many manufacturing companies missing out on the opportunity to recruit female workers?
Here are a few companies who are helping to close the gender gap in manufacturing.
3D Precision Machines
Some manufacturing companies may shy away from hiring women because they feel women don’t know their way around machines. 3D Precision Machines is about as machine-oriented a company as you can find. They are an ISO 9001:2008 Certified manufacturer that does everything from welding and CAD-based CNC programming applications to mechanical assembly and milling and turning.
How are they helping to close the gender gap in manufacturing? By being a woman-owned business in continuous operation for over a decade. Two-thirds of the management team, including President Linda Luoma and Operations Manager Holly Grosenbach, are women.
Other hiring managers may think they cannot hire women because they are not up to the physical challenges of manufacturing work. Beyond the fact that there are plenty of strong, capable women out there who prove this is not the case, the truth is that more and more of the manufacturing world requires knowledge of how to speak the programming language of machine controllers rather than the ability to lift boxes or drive heavy machinery.
At Carey Manufacturing in Cromwell, Connecticut, women can do both. Carey Manufacturing makes latches and handles and has been doing it for over 40 years. Lately, they’ve been doing it with women. There are more women than men working the floor at Carey, both controlling the machines and doing the heavy lifting when circumstances require it.
S. Bravo Systems
There are still other manufacturing managers who think that manufacturing work is too dirty for women. That certainly isn’t the feeling at S. Bravo Systems, a Made-in-the-USA-accredited manufacturer of fuel handling secondary containment systems with products such as sump pumps and FRP entry fittings.
S. Bravo is a certified woman-owned domestic corporation that has been a leader in the secondary containment system field for 30 years. Led by President Paola Bravo, this is clearly a company that believes there are plenty of places for women in manufacturing.
More and more manufacturing companies are showing great results by adding women both on the labor side and the management side, so it’s hard to understand why more manufacturing companies aren’t leaping at the opportunity to jump into the female talent pool.
The good news is that there’s a great opportunity for manufacturing companies who have skilled workers retiring or who are expanding to take advantage of this underutilized segment of the workforce.