March is Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day and we want to showcase all the hard work that women do in the workplace, especially in male-dominated industries such as manufacturing. Adding women to your workforce is an important factor in a company’s success. A Deloitte study of 600 women in manufacturing and 20 executives in manufacturing found gender diversity improves innovation, return on equity and profitability for manufacturing organizations.
Many jobs in manufacturing can easily be filled by women, yet often women are paid less or the positions are perceived as “masculine” positions which can deter women from applying. Unfortunately, these perceptions can leave companies with positions to fill. A solution to filling manufacturing employment vacancies could be to target women for these positions by implementing changes in the workplace that make manufacturing jobs more flexible and attractive.
Here a few solutions for attracting more women into the manufacturing space, allowing you to possibly address your hiring needs.
Work-Life Balance is Important
Many manufacturing jobs are perceived as old-school and often follow more traditional job roles which includes a lack of a work-life balance. This can be a large deterrent to women who are often also running a household and raising children. In fact, a recent study found that 37% of women who leave the manufacturing sector cite poor work-life balance as their reason for exiting the field. Understanding the demands of home and work that are placed on women is important and companies that address those demands can see a huge impact in the female response to job postings.
Women are also not the only ones that consider work/life balance as an important factor to a job hiring process. Younger generations are also highly considering this balance when evaluating career choices and applying for new jobs.
Market Your Job Openings to Women
Women need to know that other women already hold manufacturing positions at your facility and are thriving. Utilizing your existing workforce of women to attract others is definitely beneficial. Women value the opinion of others and want to hear testimonials and first hand experiences before diving into a new career. Let them hear from a current employee about your work environment and work/life balance philosophy. These type of testimonials can be a powerful recruiting tool and should lead to better hiring success.
- Highlight female leaders on a company website and in marketing materials
- Promote examples of gender inclusivity in job descriptions
- Feature factors that are important to female job seekers in job descriptions
Look at Adding Benefits that Support Women
Companies need keep an open mind to new trends for women in the workplace. Those trends can include things such as childcare onsite, longer maternity leave, paid family time, etc. These are things that women truly look for and highly consider when taking a new job.
Place Women in Leadership Positions
Nearly 72% of women in manufacturing believe they are underrepresented in their organization’s leadership team. This belief is a fundamental reason many highly qualified women do not explore employment opportunities in manufacturing. However, not only will having women in leadership roles help you attract more females to your firm, the Deloitte report found that when women are placed in leadership roles in manufacturing, companies experienced several benefits:
- 88%: diverse perspectives in decision making
- 84%: innovative and creative approaches and solutions
- 74%: balanced organizational management
- 49%: improved financial performance
Women are an essential piece to the puzzle for so many companies hiring needs. Closing the gender gap in male-dominated industries can be a key to a company’s hiring success. Encouraging women to apply at your company can contribute to growth in your businesses, provide a more stable workforce and lead to long-term success.