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Women in Manufacturing: How Women Can Save Manufacturing

women in manufacturing

The times they are a-changin’. Bob Dylan’s famous song from 1964 is still as relevant today as it was during the cultural revolution that represented the largest generational values shift in our history. In those days, women were celebrating the Equal Pay Act, reading Betty Friedan, and breaking the mold of the stereotypical housewife to begin careers and live beyond the boundaries of domestic life.

The Data

women in manufacturing

Today, women are present in every aspect of our society. Instead of taking home economics in high school and becoming housewives shortly thereafter, the majority of women are seeking higher education and entering the workforce. They are waiting much longer to have children, prioritizing careers and self-fulfillment over starting a family.

Women overwhelmingly constitute the majority of:

  • Preschool & Kindergarten Teachers
  • Dental Hygienists & Assistants
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Childcare Workers
  • Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
  • Medical Record & Health Information Technicians
  • Dietitians & Nutritionists
  • Hairdressers, Stylists, & Cosmetologists
  • Medical Assistants

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that women tend to prefer careers that offer more comfortable working conditions and a lower risk of injury (who wouldn’t?). There are many reasons for this, including societal norms, barriers to entry, unappealing working conditions, and work/life balance.

In contrast, top careers for men include:

  • Software Developers
  • Farmers
  • Construction Workers
  • Financial Analysts
  • Aerospace Engineers
  • Clergy
  • Television, Video, & Motion Picture Camera Operators and Editors
  • Architects
  • Aircraft Pilots & Flight Engineers
  • Firefighters

This data tells us that men prioritize earnings and are more likely to pursue careers with increased risk of injury and less desirable working conditions. Some women, however, are completely ignoring the metaphorical “Do Not Enter” signs by entering the trades; and they are succeeding.

So What Does This Mean For Women in Manufacturing?

women in manufacturing

It is estimated that only 5-7% of welders are female. Women represent 47% of the total US labor force. That means there is a pool of over 50 million working-age women who could fill the estimated 400,000 worker shortage in the welding industry by 2024.

With a significantly higher median wage than most traditionally female careers, this represents a win-win for the industry and women who want to boost their earnings, and don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Employers overwhelmingly support an influx of women in the trades as it means a larger pool of available labor resources for them to meet their production goals. Tool, clothing, and safety equipment manufacturers are responding with products with features that are safer and easier to use for those of smaller stature.

If the labor market continues to solicit female trades workers and update working conditions and structures to accommodate women, the result will be a boom of construction and manufacturing output we haven’t seen in decades. Simultaneously, higher wages for female earners cannot be ignored, as their purchasing power will have a ripple effect across the consumer goods, retail, and other markets where spend dictates what products are offered.

 

Change is inevitable. If more women are willing and able to change their perception about pursuing a career in the trades, they can save manufacturing.

Are you a woman in the manufacturing industry? We have high-quality products to help save you money. Whether you’re looking to do business with us or you need assistance, we’re here to help. Let’s chat!

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