Here in the manufacturing industry, there is a new segment of workers that is being targeted. That is, more companies are looking at how to attract women to take on manufacturing-related jobs. Historically, manufacturing has been a male-dominated field, with men taking the majority of positions in technical fields and industries for many years. Now, as manufacturing is experiencing a resurgence while also suffering from a skills gap, a lot of attention is being placed on how to attract the younger generation to manufacturing. On top of that lies the question of how to attract more women to manufacturing.
According to a study by the Manufacturing Institute, women account for about half of the U.S. workforce, but only a quarter of the technical field workforce, including automotive, energy, aerospace, and technical fields. Today, any of the jobs that were once performed by humans are computerized. This change means that many future positions will require technical and more advanced backgrounds.
As noted in this Huffington Post article, “Companies and industries have to start actively recruiting women if there’s any chance of filling the nation’s skills gap. And they have to start early…technical skills were the most important attribute when it comes to a person’s success in the manufacturing industry.” There are now even resources and groups aimed at informing women about manufacturing opportunities, including Women in Manufacturing, a 400-plus member organization composed of women that are working to advance, attract, and retain women in the manufacturing industry, and Women in Technology and Women in Technology International, which have similar goals of attracting women into technical fields.
At Astro Machine Works, we would like to see more young people and more women enter technical fields. As more manufacturing jobs are becoming computerized, there are more skilled opportunities available. We hope to see a new evolution take place in manufacturing, as the workforce begins to even out and attract new workers.