On December 1, the MI held its third annual D+I Summit in Washington, D.C. Attendees were provided with tools and shared experiences needed to create inclusive and equitable workplaces. Strong leaders in this space helped guide the discussions on implementing change and making an impact.
- Employee Resource Groups Session (ERGs) – Attendees heard from leaders at McCormick & Company and Pella Corporation on how to create and support employee resource groups. The conversation covered utilizing ERGs as a business imperative, what leadership’s role within ERGs can look like, the process to establish and maintain ERGs, different logistics of ERG maintenance (budgets, roles, and so forth), and more.
- Executive Panel Discussion – Attendees heard from three leaders from Merck, Honeywell, and Armstrong World Industries on how manufacturers are promoting diversity and leveraging inclusion in the communities they operate in. The conversation included reviewing each company’s D&I initiatives and best practices in creating an inclusive workplace that have been implemented, as well as different D&I trainings and advice to fellow manufacturers looking to get started with D&I.
Want to hear these sessions and learn more? You can view a recording of the Virtual D+I Summit here.
Cornerstone Building Brands is a manufacturing employer committed to creating a workplace culture where DE&I is not just prioritized but celebrated. Here are some of the actions they’ve taken to make their commitment a reality:
- Create a DE&I Council which meets monthly to focus on strategic alignment, communications, coaching, training, metrics, and governance.
- Establish 4 ERGs (Women!, Patriots, Pride, and Unity) that meet to learn, plan events, address concerns, and foster mentoring opportunities.
- Sign the NAM Pledge for Action and taking 44 tangible actions towards its commitment to the pledge and broader DE&I goals.
- Include a DE&I statement in all job descriptions and ensure there is pay-scale parity.
Read more about Cornerstone Building Brands’ efforts and tips here. If you’re interested in learning more about what your organization can do to build a diverse and inclusive workplace, check out the MI’s Diversity + Inclusion Benchmarking in Manufacturing report.
The Center for Manufacturing Research at the MI recently released a study in partnership with Rockwell Automation and PTC forecasting the skills needs of the manufacturing sector over the next 5 to 10 years.
Here’s what the study found:
- There are 3 major skills needs for the future: data analytics, an agile mindset paired with problem-solving and critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
- Manufacturers are interested in preparing for upcoming skills needs by connecting with the workforce of the future. (See how the MI is building this workforce with our groundbreaking initiative, Creators Wanted.)
- Manufacturers are intentionally recruiting and promoting segments of the population that have historically been excluded from manufacturing roles or leadership. (Learn how the MI is leading conversations about D&I here.)
- Focusing on corporate culture is a key component of building and maintaining a strong workforce.
- Nearly every company surveyed reported the importance of continuous training for their current worker, i.e. “upskilling”.
Read the full report here.
The Manufacturing Institute with support from Colonial Life released a new paper that explores what manufacturers are doing to help close the gender gap, incorporating survey responses and interviews with various company executives that identify key insights and practical advice for other manufacturers. To address the workforce shortage, manufacturers need to expand their talent pools, bringing in more diverse and underrepresented candidates.
Women represent a sizable talent pool that manufacturers cannot ignore, especially as the sector becomes more advanced. Earlier this year, the MI launched our 35×30 campaign, which aims to do just that—increase the percentage of women among manufacturers from 29%, where we hover now, to 35% by 2030 by changing perceptions among women and girls about manufacturing as a career, attracting and retaining more female employees.
Read the full report here.
This new research from MI and EY on adaptive skills in the manufacturing workplace. What are adaptive skills? Simply put, they are skills or traits that enable individuals to transform their abilities as their demands and environment change. There is a need for broader and evolving skillsets in the manufacturing sector and for building a workforce motivated by opportunities for growth. Doing this will help manufacturers transition to workplaces to a point where forward-thinking, engaging, and digitally enabled work is the norm.
The Manufacturing Institute, in partnership with Rockwell Automation and PTC, released a forward-looking study on where the manufacturing sector will be headed over the next 5 to 10 years and how those changes will impact the necessary skills that will be required of employees. More advanced processes and innovations will necessitate enhanced data and technological skills. As a result, manufacturers will need to support or provide new elements of continuous learning for existing employees, and the skill sets of new employees will need to become increasingly more sophisticated. At the same time, soft skills will always be important. This need for advanced skills sets for modern manufacturers comes against a backdrop of a tight labor market, complicating the search and heightening the already fierce competition for talent.
In 2021, Pfizer launched a company-wide Refugee Hiring Program, with the goal to hire a minimum of 100 refugees by the end of 2022 and provide mentorship opportunities to an additional 150 — with 50 of these opportunities earmarked for LGBTQ+ refugees. In less than a year, the initiative is well on its way to reaching its goal — having hired 68 refugees so far — and garnering widespread enthusiasm from Pfizer’s workforce.
“The knowledge curve might be a little [steeper], but in the end, there’s so much data that shows refugee hiring pays off immensely,” said Mona Babury, one of the creators of the program at Pfizer. “They’re very hardworking, loyal and thankful for the opportunity to enter a new workforce.” Read more about the program details and success here.
Interested in learning how to start your own program? Check out these webinars from the MI team on hiring refugee talent:
In early 2021, The Manufacturing Institute began collaborating with Union Pacific to build a Second Chance hiring initiative to expand candidate pools to be more inclusive of those with criminal records. Union Pacific Chairman, President and CEO Lance Fritz made expanding his company’s talent pipelines a priority and considers Union Pacific’s commitment to Second Chance employment an important part of that strategy.
To help design and implement Union Pacific’s Second Chance initiative, the MI partnered with Envoy Advisory via its Envoy initiative to make use of its expertise in inclusive hiring policies and practices and build partnerships with high-performing reentry and workforce organizations in Houston, Texas.
Assessing and adapting Union Pacific’s existing hiring policies and practices allowed for a deeper understanding of the candidate journey and illuminated potential barriers and support gaps for candidates from this population. While the pilot program was aimed specifically at candidates with criminal records, many of the identified employment barriers applied to a broad range of candidates from vulnerable backgrounds. Our case study outlines the three essential components of a successful Second Chance hiring initiative. Read the full case study here.