Breaking Barriers and Building a Stronger Manufacturing Industry Through Diversity
Estimated reading time 3 minutesAs a technical recruitment company, Sierra 57 Consult understands the critical role that diversity plays in the manufacturing industry. Sierra 57 Consult welcomes and celebrates the unique perspectives, experiences, and skill sets that women bring to the table. Increasing diversity in manufacturing isn't just the right thing to do; it's also essential for companies to thrive. With a diverse workforce, companies can tap into a broader range of ideas, leading to more innovative solutions and a more profitable bottom line. However, the manufacturing industry is currently facing a skills and labour shortage, making it more crucial than ever to welcome and embrace diverse talent, particularly women, to create a more robust and sustainable workforce. Women currently represent less than 30% of the manufacturing sector workforce, and it is critical to explore the reasons behind the gender imbalance. One of the major potential reasons for the low participation of women in the industry is the 'industry image problem,' with many young women still perceiving the industry as being heavy manual labour with hostile working conditions dominated by males. The lack of diversity in the manufacturing industry can be attributed to various factors, including biased recruitment practices. The way roles are promoted can create a bias, and if companies only use internal resources to advertise job roles, they reinforce the current workforce dynamic, which may not be diverse. Therefore, it is essential for companies to use external agencies for recruitment to ensure that bias is removed from the process. Sierra 57 Consult is committed to creating a more inclusive and equitable industry for everyone. The company works to identify and recruit talented women in manufacturing, providing them with the resources and support they need to succeed. Sierra 57 Consult provides its clients with a diverse pool of candidates, helping them to create teams that reflect the communities they serve. There are still many challenges women face in the manufacturing industry, including a lack of role models, the need to work far harder than their male counterparts, and concerns around how their roles in the workplace and home are interconnected. However, efforts can be made to tackle these barriers, such as developing policies on flexible working arrangements and implementing EDI (equality, diversity, and inclusion) mandates in organizations. Indeed, as experienced by Katie Francis, recruitment manager at Sierra 57 since 2018: “As a new mum recently returning from maternity leave, having been given the opportunity for flexible working hours around childcare and my family has been invaluable, along with the company adopting hybrid working it allows me to be more flexible when the inevitable nursery closures or sickness happens. I believe attitudes towards flexible working has changed for the better but in order to increase and sustain a more diverse workforce this needs to become the new normal for working parents (not just mums) and move away from traditional gender roles” This International Women's Day, Sierra 57 Consult celebrates the women who are breaking down barriers in manufacturing and paving the way for future generations. We pledge to continue our work in creating a more inclusive and equitable industry, both as an employer and as a recruitment specialist. Together, we can create a brighter future for manufacturing and the world.