Over the holidays, I had a conversation with a family member about the need for more women to work in the manufacturing industry. Naturally, the question was: “why”? Is it because someone needs more diversity in the workplace? Is it because women have shifted from a role in the home, to a more industrial mindset? Why should women consider a career in manufacturing?
- Long-Term Career Path
Women have so many possibilities in manufacturing, and it is not just positions centered around engineering fields. In a manufacturing facility, there are roles in HR, Sales, Production, Warehousing, Logistics & Supply Chain, as well as the more technical laboratory and engineering areas. What many may not be aware of is the willingness manufacturing companies have to develop their employees; men AND women.
Workforce development programs, mentorships, training and tuition reimbursement programs are all examples of programs manufacturing companies offer their employees. Once an employee shows their commitment and willingness to learn, employers love to capitalize on that eagerness and the company will work to develop them. Companies know the return on their investment will be enhanced loyalty to the employer and a better producing staff.
- Financially Competitive
According to Forbes, Technology jobs claim three spots among the top-paying roles for women, including computer and information systems managers, software developers and engineers. Within the manufacturing space, process and maintenance technicians can make hourly wages of $15-35 per hour; engineers can start at $65,000 or more right out of school, and other key support roles can pay well into six figures. Manufacturing roles in the US pay very well, are highly competitive and allow women to both make a great income and play an important role in the success of the company.
- Future Job Market
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States has 12.5 Million Manufacturing jobs. Last year, 196,000 manufacturing jobs were added to that number and will continue to grow. The unemployment rate for the manufacturing sector as of November 2018, is 2.9%. With so many open positions available and no one to fill them, the opportunities for those at both an entry level and those more experienced are endless.
- Be Creative and Make a Difference
Many women often complain about the daily grind of going to jobs they hate and working for employers they dislike. When you work for a manufacturing company, you are a part of something innovative that is being built for the future. Your company could be part of the next cure for cancer, the next generation car, the medical device that saves lives, a chemical that cleans waterways or even manufacturing novel toys or bicycles.
Manufacturers are an integral part of the future of everything we do. A simple bottle of soda has several manufacturers involved; the bottle maker, the resin maker for the bottle, the cap/closure manufacturer, the drink manufacturer, etc. Each manufacturer has multiple positions within each facility that are important to delivering your favorite beverage. And that is just for a bottle of soda! Consider automotive manufacturers and all the parts and pieces; each manufactured from different places pulled together and assembled under one hood for our enjoyment. Women, you can be a part of this! You can design the parts and pieces, or you can hire the people that do the work; each role is important to a manufacturer and matters to their success.
Manufacturing positions are no longer the “dirty jobs” you may have envisioned. Today, many manufacturers are high-tech, spotless facilities with state-of-the-art equipment. They are building things we could only dream of. Women can be “hands-on” by machining parts or sell capital equipment to manufacturers in other parts of the world. There are so many options and positions available; from the manufacturing floor to the CEO.
Manufacturing companies offer a long-term career path, highly competitive compensation and allow you to use your creativity to make things better, faster or cleaner. In addition, the manufacturing job market in the US is continuing to explode rapidly. For these reasons, more women should consider a career in the manufacturing industry.
Authored by: Brianna Russ, CPC
CEO Inc.| Recruiting Manager