One answer to the U.S. manufacturing skills gap: women

Women in Manufacturing (WiM) is committed to spread awareness of opportunities for women in growing manufacturing sector.

08/14/2014


According to Women in Manufacturing (WiM), women are underrepresented in manufacturing not because they are not able, but because they still believe the manufacturing field is a better fit for men. The biggest challenges women face when considering the manufacturing sector are the untrue stigmas that surround manufacturing today. Women in manufacturing are constantly fighting to show modern manufacturing for what it is - a high-tech field with many available jobs well-suited for both men and women workers.

While the U.S. manufacturing sector grows, women working or aspired to work in this field still face unique challenges. Recent data shows that the manufacturing sector in the US has expanded for fourteen straight months with continuous growth. That should be good news for everyone working in the field. But the simple reality is that the number of women working in the sector is not following that trend.Data from the U.S. Commerce Department shows that, although women hold about half of the jobs in the U.S. economy today, they occupy less than 25% of the STEM - science, technology, engineering and math - jobs. In fact, only 30% of the estimated 14 million Americans who work in manufacturing are women.

And the lack of women in the manufacturing sector is problematic. Research shows that there are a staggering number of skilled manufacturing jobs available today and that many are going unfilled because employers are struggling to find qualified workers. This is a problem that cannot be solved by focusing on male employees.

Despite being underrepresented, women who work in the field has expressed high satisfaction level with their jobs. A recent study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute found that women in manufacturing today are pleased with the quality of their jobs and find their careers interesting and rewarding. Importantly, one of the reported reasons for women's contentment with careers in manufacturing is the ability to balance work and family obligations. With this trend, the industry is expecting to see more top-tier females joining the manufacturing sector. Further, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in 2011, the average manufacturing worker in the United States earned $77,060 annually, including pay and benefits. Meanwhile, the average worker in all industries earned $60,168. Beyond good salaries, women are finding other benefits in manufacturing.

Organizations like WiM are dedicated to spreading information about the opportunities available for women in the manufacturing sector today. As part of that effort, WiM is holding its fourth annual SUMMIT event this year in Schaumburg, IL on September 29 - October 1, 2014.

WiM began in November 2009 with a small group of women PMA members to discuss best practices, business conditions, and women's unique challenges in the field. WiM is a content partner of CFE Media. Edited by Joy Chang, Digital Project Manager, CFE Media, jchang@cfemedia.com



BRUCE , , 08/20/14 11:06 AM:

In the past manufacturing typically required more physical strength, which puts men at an advantage. Now with more automation and controls the brain/brawn ratio is changing. Most guys I know understand that when it comes to organizational ability and having an eye for what I like to call "elegant design," women have no problem standing toe to toe with men.
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me