Manufacturing gender gap widens in the US


The recovery of the US manufacturing sector has not been felt by the entire American population. There is a gender in-balance as most new jobs in the sector are going to men.

Thomasnet reports that a study by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) found that the percentage of women in manufacturing jobs fell from 32 per cent in 1990 to 32 per cent to just 27 per cent in 2012. This is the lowest level of female participation since 1971.

In addition, the report found that from February 2010 to April 2013 there was an increase of 530,000 jobs, but most of these went to men. In fact, in net terms, the number of women employed in the sector during this period actually fell by 28,000, while the number of men employed increased by 558,000.

According to the report, there are a number of reasons for the decline in female participation in the industry. These include the perception that the manufacturing sector is stagnant and the perception that manufacturing jobs involve hard physical labour.

In terms of solutions, the senator suggested challenging the view that manufacturing has a “male-favoured culture”, improving education and training for females in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and establishing mentoring programs for women in the sector.

 “Manufacturing is key to moving our economy forward, and we need all of our country’s talent – both men and women – to fill the jobs of tomorrow that our businesses are creating today,” Klobuchar noted. “We need to make sure that women have the skills and resources they need to succeed in these growing manufacturing industries.”

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