“Women would rather work in service jobs because life on the factory floor can be hell” “If manufacturers want to recruit the most talented workers out there, they need to start by making conditions better in the workplace for women.” When researching the lack of women representation in the manufacturing industry tweets and articles like this often came up. So what is the real problem? Manufacturers usually have a hard time recruiting workers, debating instead the problem is poor working conditions or no investment in job training, the list goes on.
Although women are 51.4% of adults in America, there are only 7% of middle-skilled manufacturing jobs. The absence of women in middle-skilled factory jobs that are suffering from lack of employees should encourage business leaders to make a change. Middle-skilled manufacturing pays better and has better benefits than jobs in the service industry, where a majority of women work.
Many business leaders claim they have tried to recruit women or that women do not want to work in those conditions. However, since the #Metoo movement has gained public recognition many women in manufacturing jobs have stated that they have been mistreated and sexually harassed. According to the Chicago Women in Trades, “women face hostile and even dangerous conditions in factories where they are trailblazers representing a small percentage of the workforce.” Its a small step but some factories are working towards making working conditions better The United Auto Workers was one of the first unions to include a clause in its contracts with Ford and Chrysler allowing members to file a grievance if sexual harassment occurs.
Manufactures want to recruit more talented workers and are missing a considerable margin with women if they want this to change they have no chose but to alter working conditions to make it comfortable for everyone. Talent is talent regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.