Throughout October, we’ve been celebrating manufacturing in conjunction with National Manufacturing Day, which was held earlier this month.
Men have been at home in manufacturing … well, forever. But, for women it’s been a more recent career choice — and not one that’s grown much throughout the years. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, women’s share of the manufacturing sector is about 27%.
To encourage more women to pursue careers in manufacturing, we’ve created a “Top 10” list of reasons for why manufacturing jobs are great for women. FYI — the list was generated BY WOMEN IN MANUFACTURING AT WHIRLPOOL.
10. Women think differently: Manufacturing offers lots of opportunities to challenge the “norm.”
9. Women like to feel fulfilled: A majority of women in manufacturing find their career to be interesting and rewarding.*
8. Women like to have choices: Manufacturing offers a wide variety of career paths.
7. Women like to “know it all” and be in charge: In manufacturing you REALLY get to know how things work and sometimes even design them yourself!
6. Women love accessories: Safety glasses, welder’s mask, ear plugs, work gloves, steel-toed shoes. What’s not to love?
5. Women are survivors: If you can function through sleep deprivation caused by a newborn, you can survive a manufacturing work plant schedule.
4. Women like opportunity: Currently representing only 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce (lowest rate since 1971) there’s lots of room for growth for women in this field.
3. Women are natural multi-taskers: Shoot a screw, read an engineering drawing, complete a profit plan and hold a plant meeting all at the same time!
2. Women already have a great manufacturing icon: Have you ever heard of Roger the Riveter?
1. Women today set the example for women tomorrow: What better role model is there for young women, than women who break down gender barriers?
OK, in all seriousness, the examples may be a bit tongue in cheek, but the reasons are all true and add up to manufacturing as a great career option for women. Let’s hear from some women who walk the talk everyday at Whirlpool Corporation.
“For me, a fast-paced career in manufacturing has allowed me to play many different roles and use my best two qualities … people leadership and technical expertise,” says Bonnie Torti, director of Operations, at the Findlay plant. “Every day I’m called upon to provide coaching, give advice, make decisions and show leadership to all levels of the organization.
“As an engineer I also love math, technical challenges and problem solving. Manufacturing has given me the opportunity to use these skills, as well as learn from and teach the next generation of engineers at Whirlpool Corporation. I am fortunate I can be many things in a manufacturing role: teacher, leader, public speaker, coach, engineer, strategic thinker, innovator, cheerleader and friend.”
Kristin Day, director of Operations, at the Marion plant agrees: “My career in manufacturing is rewarding because I have the opportunity to do what I love most — embrace the uniqueness of each person who contributes to the process of manufacturing a Whirlpool-built appliance,” she explains. “While a career in manufacturing is challenging because it requires a keen knowledge of what is happening right now and a comprehensive vision of the future, it also is tremendously satisfying because it’s truly where value is added and the contributions to success are distinct and tangible.”
Congratulations to all the women in manufacturing at Whirlpool. You make a positive difference every day! And, thank you to the contributing authors to our Top 10 list: Kristin Day, Cathy Gerber, Melissa Greenlee, Justine Hoffman, Emily Hosinski, Elba Santos, Amanda Tolhurst and Bonnie Torti.