Increasing the Number of Women in the Manufacturing Industry
To what extent is the manufacturing environment still a male-dominated environment, and how can individual businesses make a positive change to the industry’s gendered landscape? In this article, we’re talking about why gender equality in the workplace is vital to the success of businesses everywhere.
Women are Critical for Your Company’s Success
This year, IndustryWeek released an article titled ‘women are critical to manufacturing’s future’. Incorporating women into your business isn’t simply a matter of equality – important though that is – it is a pre-requisite for your company’s success.
Research has found that equal gender distribution amongst low-skilled workers is more likely to improve their productivity, dependent on the size and type of the firm. It’s not all about productivity, however, improving gender equality is going to save you money in the long term because better gender equality means better employee retention rates, which translates to fewer expenses on recruitment, interviews, hiring and training.
There are plenty of benefits you could be reaping from improving diversity in your workplace, starting with women. By employing a variety of people, you are going to be encouraging greater perspective in your business which will help with problem-solving.
If we step outside of the individual company and turn to look at nations as a whole, then we can see that the employment of women in skilled roles across a range of disciplines is vital for staying at the top of the market. The World Economic Forum has found a correlation between a country’s competitiveness and how it educates and – more importantly – how it employs its female talent. If equality is so vital on the global front, then it surely affects businesses at lower levels too.
Introducing Women into the Workplace
Women were first properly introduced into previously male-only territories during World War I when manpower was being diverted into the armed forces. Today, women in the workplace don’t arise out of national necessity, so women are still fighting for places in work.
IndustryWeek looks at American studies, which are somewhat comparable to the British workplace. They quote a study from Women in Manufacturing, finding that only 7% of respondents thought of manufacturing as a field that offers opportunities for young women. To bring more women into the manufacturing environment, it is vital that we start by changing perceptions of our industry.
We can see similar efforts being made in STEM at education-level as our nation attempts to shift perspectives on vocational learning and apprenticeships for the better. For individual businesses, similar initiatives may need to be employed to make a real change. We’re thinking about offering equal opportunities apprenticeships to encourage women from a young age, as well as working to provide stunning female role models within the industry that young women can look up to and work towards.
This means encouraging your current female workers to pursue the skills training that they need to achieve higher roles. By promoting your female workers and placing them in visible roles, you will find it easier to recruit more women in the hiring process because they will see that yours is an environment which will allow them to grow and achieve.
European Springs and Equality in Manufacturing
Discussions about improving gender equality are only the beginning; improving the face of manufacturing and encouraging productivity in your business will require effort, planning, and dedication.
At European Springs, we have great staff retention and plenty of initiatives to encourage diverse members of today’s youth to start their career in manufacturing. As a nation, we need to aim to achieve 50/50 by 2020 if we want to pull ahead of the global competition.
If you’re keen to start actively participating in diversity equality, then take your business to the annual Diversity & Inclusion in Manufacturing summit on November 14th in Liverpool this year. There is plenty more to be done, so learn from the best at the summit where you can participate in lectures and discussions. A good place to start learning is with McKinsey & Company’s Diversity Matters report.
European Springs are reliable spring manufacturers dedicated to improving the face of manufacturing. We believe in delivering the highest levels of dedicated service with unbeatable prices; you can find out more about our products by contacting us.