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Filling the Void in the Manufacturing supply chain

The Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICs recently released a study, “Women in Manufacturing: Stepping up to make an impact that matters.” The supply chain implications make this a “must read” for managers.

By ·

Lest there be any doubt, women are going to be an important asset in the manufacturing supply chain going forward. That is among the conclusions of more than 600 survey responses from women professionals in the manufacturing industry, along with nearly 20 manufacturing executive interviews, conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS.

The insights contained in this survey point to how companies can effectively recruit, retain and advance talented women in manufacturing, and illustrates ways that women in manufacturing are making an impact in the industry through programs like STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead.

The supply chain implications are clear industry experts says. “This study is an important step in understanding how we as an industry can make supply chain careers more attractive to women,” said Abe Eshkenazi, APICS chief executive officer. “At APICS, we are dedicated to workforce development initiatives that address the supply chain talent gap. Ensuring that more women join the manufacturing workforce and find a path to success is a key part of the solution.”

The study confirms why it’s important to increase the number of women in the worldwide manufacturing workforce and that many players in the global marketplace are missing a critical talent pool, which could aid in closing the skills gap. Some key highlights from the study include:

  • nearly three fourths (70%) of women indicate they would stay IN manufacturing if they were to start their career today;
  • some of the most important employment characteristics for women in manufacturing include opportunities for challenging and interesting assignments, attractive pay and work-life balance; and
  • the most impactful programs to help retain women in manufacturing include formal and informal mentorship programs, flexible work practices and increasing the visibility of key leaders who serve as role models.

The study also examines the positive effect of STEP Ahead, reporting insights from former honorees and emerging leaders who indicate STEP Ahead has helped raise the visibility of opportunities for women in the industry, manufacturing opportunities in the community and opportunities for women within their companies. The STEP Ahead honorees and emerging leaders number an estimated 300,000 individuals—from peers in the industry to school age children—as a result of their active industry engagement. For instance:

  • nearly 90% indicate that they are engaged with individuals to raise the visibility of the industry;
  • 92% are engaged in efforts in the development of women; and
  • 70% are engaged with K-12 system to encourage young girls and boys to consider careers in manufacturing.

This complete article is available to subscribers only. Log in now for full access or start your PLUS+ subscription for instant access.

By ·

Lest there be any doubt, women are going to be an important asset in the manufacturing supply chain going forward. That is among the conclusions of more than 600 survey responses from women professionals in the manufacturing industry, along with nearly 20 manufacturing executive interviews, conducted by the Manufacturing Institute, Deloitte and APICS.

The insights contained in this survey point to how companies can effectively recruit, retain and advance talented women in manufacturing, and illustrates ways that women in manufacturing are making an impact in the industry through programs like STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead.

The supply chain implications are clear industry experts says. “This study is an important step in understanding how we as an industry can make supply chain careers more attractive to women,” said Abe Eshkenazi, APICS chief executive officer. “At APICS, we are dedicated to workforce development initiatives that address the supply chain talent gap. Ensuring that more women join the manufacturing workforce and find a path to success is a key part of the solution.”

The study confirms why it’s important to increase the number of women in the worldwide manufacturing workforce and that many players in the global marketplace are missing a critical talent pool, which could aid in closing the skills gap. Some key highlights from the study include:

  • nearly three fourths (70%) of women indicate they would stay IN manufacturing if they were to start their career today;
  • some of the most important employment characteristics for women in manufacturing include opportunities for challenging and interesting assignments, attractive pay and work-life balance; and
  • the most impactful programs to help retain women in manufacturing include formal and informal mentorship programs, flexible work practices and increasing the visibility of key leaders who serve as role models.

The study also examines the positive effect of STEP Ahead, reporting insights from former honorees and emerging leaders who indicate STEP Ahead has helped raise the visibility of opportunities for women in the industry, manufacturing opportunities in the community and opportunities for women within their companies. The STEP Ahead honorees and emerging leaders number an estimated 300,000 individuals—from peers in the industry to school age children—as a result of their active industry engagement. For instance:

  • nearly 90% indicate that they are engaged with individuals to raise the visibility of the industry;
  • 92% are engaged in efforts in the development of women; and
  • 70% are engaged with K-12 system to encourage young girls and boys to consider careers in manufacturing.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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