Leaders in Workforce Development

Helping employers, jobseekers and newcomers connect to our skilled, dedicated workforce.



We Need More Women in Manufacturing

Women account for 48% of the Canadian workforce, but only 28% of the manufacturing workforce. This job rate share hasn't changed for 30 years, according to Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME).

Attracting more women to manufacturing is critical for
  • the sector’s continued growth,
  • replacing the aging workforce (each day from 2011 to 2029, about 10,000 Baby Boomers are expected to reach the retirement age of 65),
  • empowering women economically, and
  • empowering the economy.

Because well-educated, well-paid people put money back into the economy.

Here are some ways you can attract more women to manufacturing.

Women in Manufacturing Begins at School with STEM

STEM emphasizes the importance of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach.

nullManufacturing trends are all learning toward technology, robotics, and automation, and while there are many efforts to increase awareness about women in STEM, there is always more work to be done.

You can speak with workforce development professionals about how you can help encourage more women in STEM. For example, you can open up your company to Girl Guides and female science student groups (from colleges and universities) to show them what manufacturing is all about.

Women in Manufacturing: Supported by STEM

One of the biggest complaints with STEM sectors is that, while women and girls are encouraged to enter these technological fields, once they’re there, they're not supported. Take the all-female spacewalk, for instance. It was cancelled because NASA didn't have the proper sized suits for women.

So after you’ve done the good work of encouraging women in STEM in education, double down and create a more inclusive work environment. Mentorship, for example, benefits both parties and increases retention, promotion rates, and employee satisfaction. Retaining women in manufacturing means you’ll never get caught without the right sized suits!

Creative Ways to Employ Women in Manufacturing

Use creative ways to promote work-life balance. For example, despite women being half the workforce, they are also more than half of the family caretakers. Make life easier for people with families by considering providing daycare on-site.

Shifts that coincide with school pick up and drop off support work-life balance. Or you can work with your municipality to implement active transit times that make it easier for parents coming off late-night shifts to use the bus to get home, so people who don't have cars can still have these jobs.

Get More Ideas for Manufacturing Attraction and Retention 

Career in Manufacturing E-book

External links are provided as informational resources only and are not necessarily endorsed by Ontario East.






Workforce Tools

New call-to-action

Subscribe to MW Blog

Recent Blogs: