Landmark campaign to close workforce gender gap
The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers (in the U.S.), has announced its “35×30” Women’s campaign, an ambitious, industry-wide effort to close the gender gap in manufacturing.
“By 2030, the '35×30' campaign will work to close the skills and talent gap in manufacturing by adding half a million women to the industry, increasing women’s representation in manufacturing from 29% today to 35%. The campaign will also lead a nationwide movement designed to change perceptions by engaging face-to-face with emerging leaders and young women students, leveraging more than 1,000 women mentors and collaborating with manufacturers on strategies to attract and retain female talent and broaden the pipeline by supporting women throughout their education,” said the Manufacturing Institute.
“For nine months in a row now, manufacturers have had more 800,000 open jobs, and we can’t make meaningful progress toward filling those jobs without closing the gender gap,” said MI President, Carolyn Lee. “The 35×30 campaign is an unprecedented plan to strengthen our workforce and build the talent pipeline. We are thrilled to see the industry unite and recognize the power of women in the workforce. This initiative will help many women of all ages find their way into a successful, rewarding career in modern manufacturing, and I can think of no better day to make this announcement than on International Women’s Day.”
The biggest challenge facing manufacturers continues to be the growing workforce crisis. Studies show that manufacturers can close the skills gap by 50% by bringing 10% more women into the industry. Women account for about half of the U.S. labour force but represent less than one-third of the manufacturing workforce.
As part of the campaign, the MI announced an initial sponsorship of US$ 250,000 from Arconic Foundation to support programmes and activities in 2022 and beyond. The MI also recognized Stewards of the “35×30” campaign, stressing their support in narrowing the gender gap facing manufacturing in America.
The “35×30” campaign will add to the MI’s ongoing work to bring women into the manufacturing workforce. Launched in 2012, the STEP Women’s Initiative is the U.S. marquee programme to close the gender gap in manufacturing. STEP consists of the STEP Ahead Awards and professional leadership development programme as well as regional STEP Forward events throughout the year. The initiative works to foster a 21st-century manufacturing workforce by elevating and inspiring women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership, as well as by motivating alumnae to pay it forward by mentoring the next generation.
For more information on the MI, visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org