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The manufacturing industry has undergone tremendous transformation. Smart machines line the plant floor, products are customized in near real time, and mobile devices are used to provide insight into operations 24x7x365.
But as the plant floor becomes more innovative, one thing remains: an underrepresentation of women. While women make up nearly 50 percent of the workforce, only 26 percent of manufacturing jobs are held by women. Why is an industry that is so full of innovation lagging in attracting and retaining female employees?
There may be many explanations. But we wanted to get some perspective from someone who has been there and done that, and has navigated the manufacturing landscape for decades. Janice D’amico, Plex specialist at Hatch Stamping, spoke at our Women Leaders in Manufacturing Technology Breakfast at PowerPlex 2015. When asked why there’s a gap of women in manufacturing, Janice D’amico responded:
“I think what's keeping women away from the [manufacturing] jobs is the women themselves. We've had a role that we've been playing in our heads that the fields of science, technology, engineering and production just don’t fit us. But we're seeing a nice trend now in the industry. Organizations, like the Manufacturing Institute, are promoting programs to encourage women to encourage other women to get involved in science technology, engineering and production.”
“Women need to get out there and let people know what they know and share it. Really start to embrace each other, defend each other and encourage each other. If we can do that, we really start to operate more with the nurturing skills that women have, and we'll start to draw more women in naturally to this field.” Janice D’amico, Plex Specialist, Hatch Stamping