Why women choose to continue or leave their manufacturing career

May 28, 20152 minute read

Consulting firm Deloitte, in partnership with the Manufacturing Institute has released findings of a study addressing why manufacturing isn’t attracting, retaining and advancing its share of talented women. “The Women in Manufacturing Study” was conducted to “explore the gender gap.”

Women make up about 47 percent of the labor force, but only 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce.

In the study, interviews with more than 600 women in manufacturing, across functional roles and levels, found that approximately 2/3 of those participating think women are held to different (higher) performance standards than men, and receive different (lower) pay than men receive. Yet about that same percentage say they would endorse manufacturing as a career choice for a family member or friend. What career characteristics matter to them most? The opportunity for interesting and challenging assignments, attractive pay, and work/life balance.

The women surveyed also were asked what initiatives they think are most likely to positively impact the ability of manufacturing to attract and retain women. Their top three responses were flexible work practices, mentoring and sponsoring programs, and greater visibility of role models.

Download Deloitte report

Deloitte provides audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services across more than 20 industry sectors to companies that include 70% of the Fortune 500. Deloitte’s Women’s Initiative (WIN) was launched in 1993.

APICS (founded as the American Production and Inventory Control Society) is a not-for-profit international education organization, offering certification programs, training tools and networking opportunities to increase workplace performance. The Manufacturing Institute focuses on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent.