Competitive manufacturing leaders are well aware of the skills gap when it comes to attracting and retaining top manufacturing talent. The shortage of qualified workers is a concern for the entire manufacturing industry. The answer to filling this critical gap lies in hiring more women. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are manufacturing’s largest pool of untapped workers. While women represent nearly half (47%) of the total U.S. labor force, they comprise less than a third (27%) of the manufacturing workforce. At Fusion, we have taken steps to address those disparities head-on and diversify our team.
Changing the Perception
Archaic perceptions of manufacturing have affected women’s desires to enter the industry. The concepts that manufacturing is too labor-intensive, dirty, gender-biased, or unprogressive are all outdated and incorrect. Simply put, that’s no longer the case. Not only are these views wrong, but they are damaging because women don’t see themselves as a good fit for the industry.
The reality of manufacturing is quite different. The majority of manufacturing jobs created during the past few years are neither low-paying nor monotonous. Cutting-edge technology has produced jobs that require a substantial amount of creativity, especially as they become more advanced. Fusion’s Machine Shop Assistant Jennifer agrees. “I chose a career in manufacturing because it is satisfying and rewarding,” she states. “I’ve been given the freedom and opportunity to grow that I wasn’t able to find on my previous career paths.”
As manufacturing continues to evolve, Fusion has welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate that diversifying our workforce is a priority. Proactively increasing the presence of women in both our front office and production floor has made us a stronger contract manufacturer.
In order to create a conducive company culture, manufacturers need to demonstrate that we are responsive to the unique work-life challenges that women, especially women who are or who plan to become mothers, face. At Fusion, we allow women to balance the trajectory of their careers with their responsibilities outside of work. Furthermore, we ensure that our entire workforce feels supported through our training, employee reviews, and recognition efforts. This transparency across the board ensures fairness for all of our employees. “Everyone at Fusion is really supportive and goes the extra mile to make sure I feel like part of the team,” Jennifer shares.
With so many job openings in American manufacturing, it’s fair to say that manufacturing belongs to all of us – old, young, men, women, and so on. However, the statistics haven’t quite caught up to manufacturing’s evolution. More women are required to ensure continued success. The potential for growth, rewarding opportunities and immense satisfaction of contributing to a forward-thinking sector are all reasons for women to consider this fulfilling career path. We are encouraging women to apply for open positions.