MI Insider

MI Insider

Breaking Barriers: Childcare and Flexibility Solutions for the Manufacturing Industry

Earlier this month, the MI released a new report outlining the top challenges women are facing and what workplace policies have the most impact to recruit and retain female talent.

On December 6, the MI hosted a webinar with industry leaders to explore specific examples of childcare and flexibility solutions. Panelists included Rose Lee, President and CEO of Cornerstone Building Brands, Aneesa Muthana, President, CEO and Co-Owner of Pioneer Services, Denise Rutherford, former Chief Corporate Affairs Officer and Senior Vice President, 3M (retired), C-Suite Executive and Board Director, and Denita Wilhoit, Vice President Corporate Shared Services at Toyota.

Key Takeaways

  • Prioritizing a diverse workplace is key to attracting workers, improving productivity and employee retention and growing a company’s bottom line.
  • Women represent a sizable talent pool that manufacturers cannot ignore. As it stands, women make up more than 29% of the manufacturing workforce. By raising the percentage of women in the manufacturing sector to 35% of total employment in the sector, there could be 800,000 more female manufacturing employees. This would be enough to fill every open job in the manufacturing sector today.
  • Companies that have increased worker flexibility have seen a positive correlation with the ability to attract new employees and retain current staff. New policies have included part-time options, adjusted shift schedules and opportunities for remote work.
  • Both men and women cite lack of childcare options/support to be an issue, though evidence suggests this is a larger issue for women. Workplace flexibility can aid in addressing this challenge, though some companies are exploring subsidized or onsite solutions.
  • Providing job training/continuing education opportunities, developing employee resource groups and establishing mentorship programs also help with retention and recruitment. Implementing policies that can help advance and train a diversity of leaders shows a commitment to employee growth, making the company a more attractive place to stay—or join.

View the recording here and learn best practices on how to create more inclusive workplace environments.

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