As a woman in the world of manufacturing, nothing inspires me more than seeing other women make it in this industry. We can all agree the need to sustain the manufacturing industry on our American soil and we all seem to worry about the same issue: How are we going to keep our factories open?
"Greater inclusiveness in manufacturing is good for our industry, and it is playing out in very real ways in businesses across the United States."
Emily Probst, Managing Editor of Modern Machine Shop, offers insight to why we need to keep our shop floors inclusive in order to keep them open. Her full article, We Belong Here, provides a glance into the lives of three very different women, who have each made their mark on the shop floor. Through Probst's article, the reader gains some differing perspectives into the strict conformity that coincides the shop floor environments.
"Women want STEM educations. Women want to work with their hands to create things. Women want to become leaders and mentors on the manufacturing shop floor. Women want manufacturing careers. If nothing else, these women's stories should make clear that the manufacturing labor pool might be larger than many of us realize."
The story of the three women highlighted in Probst's article are nothing short of inspiring. Their stories have also driven me mad with the burning question: Why haven't we realized this gap before? For years we have been forecasting a lack of skilled workers in the manufacturing sphere, yet we are still late in fostering inclusive environments for all skilled trades people.
While I'm happy these women have made their mark on their shop floors, I wonder just how long we will have to wait until hard working women in manufacturing no longer have to "prove themselves," or are bogged down by initial stereotypes until their colleagues have seen that they are qualified for the jobs they are in.
When we find ourselves at a moment in time where we fear a loss of labor in our manufacturing space, are we doing all that we can to entice ALL qualified peoples to the trades? Are we doing all we can to ignite a burning passion in children at a young age for the trades, regardless of their race or gender?