Manufacturing’s inter-gender gap: Women in the field see benefits, those not in the field are skeptical

WiM survey finds job satisfaction among women in manufacturing, but young woman don’t consider it a potential career choice.

10/03/2014


There is a disconnection between the perception young women have about manufacturing and what women in manufacturing actually experience.

A survey conducted by Women in Manufacturing (WiM) indicated that while a high percentage of women working in manufacturing said their jobs are interesting, challenging, and they are paid well, less than 10% of young women just entering the job market consider manufacturing a field that offers career opportunity.

In the survey, young women ranked compensation as the most important factor they are seeking in a career, followed closely by interesting and challenging work. More than 80% of respondents working in manufacturing said their work is interesting and challenging and 50% of them indicate compensation is the most significant benefit of the sector.

The survey also found 74% of women working in manufacturing believe that the sector offers multiple career paths for women and more than half of women in manufacturing said the sector is a leading industry for job growth for women. In addition, 64% of women working in manufacturing reported they would recommend a career in manufacturing to a young woman.

Despite these high numbers, young women who are just beginning to consider their career options remain unaware of the opportunities available to them in the manufacturing sector. Less than half of young women believe manufacturing offers the interesting and challenging work they seek, and less than 10% of young women placed manufacturing among the top five career fields they feel offer the most opportunity for young women today.

"On the whole, these survey results should be seen as a call to action in a space where there is great opportunity," said WiM director Allison Grealis. "When we know what young women are looking for in careers, we are in a better position to demonstrate how manufacturing can help them meet their aspirations. We have long known that women are good for manufacturing; and these survey results go a long way to showing that manufacturing is good for women, too,"

The survey was conducted among 870 women who are either currently working in manufacturing or young women who are just beginning to consider their career options. WiM released the survey, created in conjunction with Plante Moran at its fourth annual WiM summit held in Schaumburg, Ill. Sept. 29 through Oct. 1.

Women in Manufacturing (WiM) is a national organization dedicated to the attraction, retention and advancement of women who are pursuing or have chosen a career in the manufacturing industry. WiM is a CFE Media content partner. 

- Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media, jchang(at)cfemedia.com

- See the survey fact sheet and survey report.

- See related stories from the Women in Manufacturing (WiM) Summit below.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me