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  • building their own corporate ladderWomen in manufacturing a critical talent poolshare their career decision insights with Kelly


  • An existing shortage of skilled talent in manufacturing has created uncertainty when it comes to the future supply.

    Could women be the key to overcoming this talent gap?

    Despite comprising nearly half of the

    U.S. labor force, women continue to be

    significantly underrepresented in the

    manufacturing industrybut it seems the

    solution doesnt lie in hiring women, but in

    retaining them.

    First, lets take a look at the overall industry factors that affect everyone in manufacturing.

    OVERVIEW /02

  • /03

    Turnover rates within the manufacturing industry are significant

    23%in 20131


    While this may seem like good news to the

    hiring manager who wants an expanding talent

    pool of workersperhaps by luring them away

    from competitorsthis same hiring manager

    may just as easily lose their new talent to

    another company. Retention is difficult across

    the boardespecially for companies that do

    not implement the changes desired by todays

    manufacturing talent.

    80 percent of manufacturing employers say they

    have moderate to severe shortages of skilled and

    highly skilled talent2

    And while the numbers

    for employee turnover in

    manufacturing havent changed

    in the past few years, the reasons

    have. Performance issues and

    layoffs, past factors for turnover

    in manufacturing, are being

    replaced by voluntary quitting.

    More and more, employees are

    making the conscious, voluntary

    decision to leave their employer

    rather than being forced out:

    9.8%in 2010

    10.9%in 2012

    10.7%in 2011

    11.1%in 2013



    Associate degree or experience equivalent

    Bachelors degree or experience equivalent

    1 per BLS2 Accenture 2014 Manufacturing Skills and Training Study

  • An aging workforceaccelerated!

    Shortages and challenges are magnified

    due to an aging workforceas a whole,

    manufacturing talent is nearly 10 percent

    closer to retiring than talent in all other

    U.S. industries.

    Over the age of 45:

    51% of all U.S. manufacturing talent 42% of workers across all industries







  • The bottom line

    The inability to find skilled manufacturing workers negatively impacts the bottom line. When the necessity to pay overtime wages goes up, quality, productivity, and efficiency take a hit.

    When overtime goes up, quality, productivity, and efficiency go down.

    Overtime Quality Productivity Efficiency


  • Women as the solution

    Women could fill the skilled talent gap in manufacturingbut understanding employee preferences of this demographic, and ensuring their contentment, is more important than ever.

    What women in manufacturing want, what they dont want, and what would make them stay with their current employer is no longer a secret. This critical talent pool has spoken loud and clear to Kelly. And its the companies that will listenthe ones that invest in their female workforce and implement changesthat will capture their loyalty, and possibly avoid the unexpected talent shortages that could hamper their business goals.

    The top three factors that

    influence the decision of

    female manufacturing workers

    to remain with an employer

    mirror those that initially drew

    them in:



    Salary and benefits

    Opportunities for advancement

    33% Work-life balance


  • Focusing on whats important

    While 2014 data shows signs of disengagement, women in manufacturing are choosing to focus on whats important to them when making employment decisions.

    In manufacturing, women are:

    Closely scrutinizing their employers offerings

    Taking a closer look at what lies ahead in their career

    Placing greater importance on expanding their skills

    Redefining their corporate ladder


    Women are seeking employers

    in manufacturing willing to

    offer professional growth and

    work-life balancebut will they

    find these employers?


  • 15,600+12,250+9,300+


    For the Kelly Global Workforce Index we surveyed:

    About the Kelly Global Workforce Index (KGWI) report

    The annual KGWI brings together

    work and workplace insights sourced

    from more than 230,000 respondents

    from 31 countries across the

    Americas, EMEA, and APAC regions.

    It takes the form of an annual survey

    that canvasses a wide spectrum of

    opinions on issues impacting the

    contemporary workplace, with a

    particular focus on the perspectives

    from different generations, industries,

    occupations, and skill sets. Topics

    covered include:

    Career development and upskilling

    Workplace performance

    Employee engagement and retention

    Social media and technology

    global manufacturing-related industry workers

    in the Americas

    in the U.S.


  • What follows is what women in manufacturing told us.


  • Disengagement:Women in manufacturing showed signs of disengagement in 2014. This could be good news for hiring managers who are looking to fill their talent gap by hiring women away from their current organizationbut very bad news for the hiring managers who want to hold onto key employees.

    How easily can your female employees be lured away?

    In manufacturing, one out

    of three female workers

    frequently thinks about what

    lies ahead for them in the

    job market. They give strong

    consideration to quitting their

    job and leaving their employer.

    My current employer isnt investing in my career will another company?



  • Even happily employed female manufacturing workers are looking for new opportunities on a regular basis, and they are using social media to build their personal brand.

    Among the female manufacturing workers actively looking for better job opportunities and alternatives to their current jobeven when happy in their job36 percent do so on a daily basis.

    When it comes to a job, happiness does not always equal loyalty or engagement.

    Similar to male workers (40%),

    nearly four in 10 female

    manufacturing workers

    actively look for better job

    opportunities or evaluate the

    external job market even when

    happy in their job.

    I like my job, but Im always open to a better opportunity.



  • When it comes to work, perhaps money isnt everythingand neither is climbing the corporate ladder. Most female manufacturing workers would prefer that their employer offer opportunities to expand their skill setsperhaps in preparation for future advancement, or as a means to greater personal fulfillment.

    Women in manufacturing are willing to make some trade-offs for professional growth and personal fulfillment.

    And when their workers gain broader skill sets and develop the ability for greater work contributions, employers are beneficiaries.

    I want to define my own corporate ladder.

    Most female manufacturing

    workers would prefer

    that their employer offer

    opportunities to expand

    their skill sets.


  • While theres no mistaking that pay is the main driver of attraction and retention, workersboth female and malealso prioritize their professional growth and personal fulfillment. Resoundingly, many workers would be willing to trade higher pay and/or career growth or advancement to learn new job skills and achieve a greater work-life balance.

    Learning new skills is very high on my list.




    Sensing that skill development is a golden ticket to a better future, more than half of the women in manufacturing are likely to give up higher pay and/or career growth or advancement for an opportunity to learn new skills

    More than six in 10 women in manufacturing view upskilling as a short-term career goal

    38% Less than four in 10 would rather advance to a higher level than gain new skill sets


  • Let me spell out exactly what I want.

    1 | Salary and benefits

    2 | Advancement opportunities

    3 | Work-life balance

    When weighing their employment

    options, female manufacturing

    workers give greater weight to

    nearly all factors measured than

    their male counterparts.

    87% vs. 84% | Salary/benefits; incentives

    71% vs. 65% | Advancement opportunities

    66% vs. 61% | Work-life balance options

    62% vs. 58% | Training/development options

    51% vs. 45% | Knowledgeable colleagues

    49% vs. 38% | Flexible work arrangements

    48% vs. 37% | Environmental responsibility

    35% vs. 27% | Diversity/equal opportunities

    30% vs. 27% | Sense of meaning from work

    25% vs. 20% | Unexpected perks (on-site gym?)

    19% vs. 16% | Corporate sovereignty/goodwill


  • Female workers are extremely open to flexible employment options. Will this be the defining perk between those who retain and those who lose skilled talent?

    Offering female candidates more money and better benefits than competing positions will certainly influence their employment decisions. Beyond compensation, other key factors play an import