In a recent article for Forbes, author Lisa Caldwell examines the positive impact of gender balance.
According to the latest figures, women make up around 47% of the US labor force. That’s nearly 74 million people — and counting. Now guess the percentage of manufacturing roles filled by female workers. It’s 29%. Less than a third.
So why the disparity? Why, in a sector that is not only flourishing but also facing a potential shortfall of workers, do women remain so vastly underrepresented? And, more importantly, what can we do about it?
Answering the why requires a bit of context. It’s widely accepted that the move toward Industry 4.0 offers the manufacturing sector a chance to reshape itself and address some long-held workforce challenges. Clearly, attracting more women into the industry is a key part of that. But rather than technology or gender, the key story here is actually one of growth — or rather, the opportunity for growth.