CME calls on government help for Women in Manufacturing program
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is calling on governments for extra funding for its Women in Manufacturing (WIM) program, tax incentives to help employers to create childcare options, and additional money to help retrain women for jobs in manufacturing.
“Attracting more women into manufacturing professions is not only critical to help companies grow and replace their aging workforce, but it also provides women with careers that are high value, high tech, highly skilled and high paying,” says Rhonda Barnet, immediate past chair of CME and president and COO of AVIT Manufacturing, in a statement.
Like other sectors, manufacturing experienced a decline in women’s workforce participation rates due to the pandemic. However, unlike for men, those numbers have not yet been recouped, the association says.
As of January 2021, female employment in Canadian manufacturing was 3.5 per cent below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level, while male employment rose to 0.8 per cent above this threshold.
This shows that COVID-19 caused unprecedented layoffs that are still felt by women today – the sector has lost 18,200 jobs held by women compared to pre-pandemic.
The association has been working with governments across Canada on its WIM initiative, as it seeks to increase female participation rates in the sector’s workforce.
“CME supports an economic recovery that places more emphasis on women. To do this, measures must be put in place that promote the attraction and retention of women, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” says Dennis Darby, president and CEO of CME.
“We must ensure that women are included at all levels in our organizations.”
CME is holding its 4th Annual Forum on the Success of Women in the Manufacturing Industry from Mar. 8 to 12. The event focuses on how to engage and inspire young women to consider careers in manufacturing, help manufacturers attract and retain women in their workplaces, and empower, support and accelerate women in the industry.