Posted By Jeff Moad, September 20, 2013 at 3:58 PM, in Category: Next-Generation Leadership and the Changing Workforce
It’s never been easy for women seeking to rise to leadership roles in manufacturing. Manufacturing, in many respects, has been a male-dominated culture, and women say they struggle to find role models and mentors.
But globalization and widespread outsourcing is presenting a new set of challenges for women in manufacturing. On a recent Manufacturing Leadership Council TeleConnect conference call discussion about “Women in Manufacturing: The Power of Diversity,” participants said globalization is challenging for women for some very practical reasons. Manufacturers with outsourcing partners scattered across the globe find they must be available for conference calls at all hours of the day and night. But this often conflicts with the multi-faceted roles of women who, besides keeping production humming, are usually also responsible for managing the household and caring for children.
Female manufacturing executives on the call from high tech firms in particular said this is a significant issue making it difficult for many women to seek advancement in the manufacturing field.
On the positive side, several executives on the call said their companies are making a concerted effort to recruit and retain female management candidates in the interest of increasing leadership diversity.
“Our CEO is convinced that the organization needs to be as diverse as possible,” said one male executive.
What’s been your experience? Is globalization especially hard on women manufacturing executives? What can be done to make it easier?
Written by Jeff Moad
Jeff Moad is Research Director and Executive Editor with the Manufacturing Leadership Community. He also directs the Manufacturing Leadership Awards Program. Follow our LinkedIn Groups: Manufacturing Leadership Council and Manufacturing Leadership Summit