Report calls on U.S. manufacturers to take lead in integrating women to close the skills gap
June 5, 2014, Washington D.C. — While the U.S. manufacturing industry is experiencing an economic resurgence, the industry’s ongoing skills gap is affecting 80 percent of employers and is exacerbated by the underrepresentation of women, according to a new report from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute.
Challenges and opportunities to integrate more women into the manufacturing workforce are illustrated in the study, “Celebrating success, achievement and potential of women in manufacturing: A leadership view of overcoming the talent crisis and filling the skills gap.”
Building upon the women in manufacturing research previously published by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte, senior executives representing automotive, aerospace and defense, process and diversified manufacturing participated in an executive roundtable on February 6, 2014. They discussed women in the manufacturing industry and initiatives to help close the gender gap, including how manufacturers can best attract, retain and advance talented women in the industry.
During the roundtable, executives focused on the C-suite’s role in changing the corporate culture in the industry and what manufacturers can do to create a strong employer brand.
“The skills shortage facing U.S. manufacturers is apparent and the underrepresentation of women only contributes to the gap,” said Jennifer McNelly, president of The Manufacturing Institute. “We must empower each other as ambassadors of the industry so we can inspire the next-generation of young women to pursue manufacturing careers and encourage current female talent within the industry.”
In 2012, The Manufacturing Institute launched the STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) initiative to honor and promote the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership. The STEP Initiative was founded to change perceptions of the manufacturing industry and create new opportunities for women in the sector. This report was created as part of the larger STEP Ahead Initiative led by the Institute.
“While women make up approximately 50 percent of the labor force according to industry estimates, that number is only about 24 percent in the manufacturing labor force,” said Craig Giffi, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and Automotive and Industrial Products Industry leader. “Manufacturing executives have developed several effective strategies to help close the gender gap and in turn, the skills gap.”
Manufacturing executives suggested several strategies to help close the gender gap, including:
- Integrate women into the corporate strategy to lead a strategic cultural change while ensuring men are equally involved and committed to the efforts
- Share leading practices and be proactive in providing resources to inform, educate and mentor
- Use affinity groups to generate ideas, motivate peers and give/receive guidance
- Engage The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead initiative to engage honorees as leaders and ambassadors
- For more information and to view the full report, please visit www.deloitte.com/us/womeninmfg
About The Manufacturing Institute
The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.
Deloitte’s Process & Industrial Products sector serves more than 670 clients in the United States, including the vast majority of market category leaders in chemicals, metals, industrial goods and paper products. Deloitte currently provides services to 95 percent of all Fortune 500 Industrial Companies.
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.
SOURCE: Deloitte LLP