As part of The Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Honorees class of 2017, I recently attended a conference in Washington D.C. focused on women in manufacturing. Meetings, networking, dinners, ice breakers and tours of the amazing city were all geared towards our unusual group. While I’ve attended numerous tradeshow events and professional organization conferences, this was my first opportunity to be with a large number of women in my industry. What I discovered is already changing me personally and professionally and my “Three Rs of Learning at STEP Ahead” could do the same for you.
That’s one of our mottos at Bishop-Wisecarver Group and is intended to encourage all employees to take chances, try new ideas, learn from mistakes and use them to achieve success. It’s often said we learn more from our failures than we do our successes, but we want to learn as quickly as possible!
It’s no secret that women are greatly underrepresented in the world of manufacturing. In 1918, during World War I, women comprised 19% of the total manufacturing workforce. Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that while women represented nearly half of the total U.S. labor force (47%), they comprised less than a third (27%) of the manufacturing jobs in 2014. That is a meager 8% increase in the manufacturing industry in nearly 100 years.