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CME looks to remedy huge gender gap in manufacturing sector


March 8, 2018  


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Fewer than 6 per cent of women choose a career path in the manufacturing sector – and that is a statistic the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) wants to change now.

The CME hosted the first Women in Manufacturing (WIM) Success Forum to bridge the alarming gender gap in the manufacturing sector labour force.

“The manufacturing sector offers rewarding, innovative and lucrative careers for women but, unfortunately, only a small proportion of women, less than 6 per cent, choose that path. This needs to change,” said CME National Board of Directors Chair Rhonda Barnet, President & COO of Steelworks. “Today’s event was a unique opportunity for women working in manufacturing to speak up and create change they want to see in the industry.”

The event, held on International Women’s Day, is a celebration of the successes of women and is the first event of its kind to encourage mentorship, community-building and experience-sharing amongst female peers.

“Diversity in the manufacturing workforce is critical to the strength of the sector,” said Barnet. “CME is taking a leadership role in implementing fact-based solutions to encourage women to enter careers in manufacturing and help build more inclusive workplaces for them to join.”

According to a press release from the CME, the WIM success forum is a concrete step to implement CME’s action plan to help attract and retain women in manufacturing.

The CME Women in Manufacturing Working Group was launched by National Board of Directors Chair Rhonda Barnet in March 2017. The Working Group was created in response to a key recommendation from CME’s Industrie 2030 initiative regarding the need to attract more women to manufacturing to help address chronic labour and skills shortages in the sector.

The Working Group includes women and men representing CME member companies from a wide range of sizes and industries. The Working Group is dedicated to supporting, promoting and inspiring women to pursue careers in manufacturing.

(Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters)