New Study Finds Closing the Gender Gap in Manufacturing Will Close the Skills Gap


A new study, “Minding the Manufacturing Gender Gap,” has been conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte, and the APICS Supply Chain Council. This study, based on responses by 600 women working in all levels of manufacturing, came to the overarching conclusion that closing the gender gap is the smartest and most comprehensive way to close the impending manufacturing skills gap

Recruiting the Women You Need

Make sure that the culture of your company invites diversity, that the work is both intellectually stimulating and financially rewarding, and that employees have time for work and life to be separate and fulfilling. Respondents ranked the priorities they had in mind when they were young women choosing a career track, and the top five choices were: challenging/interesting assignments (44%), attractive pay (40%), work-life balance (26%), company culture (19%), and career progress opportunities (18%).

Retaining the Women You Have

The more women you recruit, the more you will continue to recruit. The study determined that that women are more likely to stay in manufacturing if there are other women by which to be inspired. The top three answers for the study’s question on retainment tactics were that women want flexible work practices (51%), mentorship and sponsorship from other women (49%), and visibility of female leaders as industry role models (44%).

Closing the Gender Gap and Skills Gap in One Move

When manufacturers focus on recruiting women, they inevitably determine that the public perception and social presence of their company needs to be updated. If many manufacturing companies start to make changes to attract female employees, eventually the entire manufacturing sector will become more present in modern media and the minds of young people. Deloitte predicts that these adjustments will instill a sense of excitement about manufacturing – attracting more women, yes, but also attracting young men who had not considered a manufacturing career. The result? A more balanced ratio of men-to-women on the shop floor and a booming manufacturing sector.

To read the study in its entirety, click here.