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In Canada, women account for 48 per cent of the labour force but only 29 per cent of the manufacturing workforce. For more than 30 years this job share rate has not changed. Attracting more women into manufacturing professions is not only critical to help companies grow and replace their aging workforce, it provides women with careers that are high value, high tech, highly skilled and high paying. To better understand the current realities of women in manufacturing CME released Untapped Potential, an action plan identifying five areas where action is needed in order to increase the number of women in manufacturing:
Scroll below to learn about the many rewarding careers in manufacturing. Be inspired. Click here to submit your story.
CME’s Women in Manufacturing initiative aims to increase the number of women in manufacturing by 100,000 by 2030, bringing the total jobs held by women in manufacturing to 600,000 in 2030.
We need your support!
Become a Champion. Pledge your support to help increase the number of women in the manufacturing sector. Celebrate your success. Share on social media, within your community and supply chain the steps you are taking to lead a diverse workforce. Choose to challenge your peers. Together, we can do it!
As a Champion of Women in Manufacturing, I commit to:
"I’ve seen... women not feeling comfortable and confident showing their full self at work. Often, we may feel compelled to emulate behaviors that are defined as masculine instead of leading from a position of strength and leveraging attributes typically defined as feminine."
"I didn’t realize at that time that I’d be getting into manufacturing, but I’ve learned that manufacturing is very fun and exciting. To be able to see something start from the ingredients, right up to the final product, and to be able to produce that yourself – it’s really rewarding that you get to see the whole process."
“There is nothing more satisfying now that I see the parts we make in everyday life. I guess this goes hand in hand with why we felt it was so important, and it is so important, to have diversity in our workforce because the diversity drives the innovation to make different things and see things in a different way.”
"When I joined, the biggest challenge for me was dealing with big machines. It requires proper training. There were some challenges when I started as there was so much for me to learn. I also had to learn about the safety guidelines for working with such big machines. So, I focused on all these learnings during my training. Everyday I learnt new things. Good training and your own focus, makes you perfect!"
"If you realize there’s a gap in the market, create it – invent that product, create that solution. I really encourage women to do that and not wait for somebody else. Even if you're not an inventor, even if you don't have the funds, find a way to pitch your idea and get some funding to create it yourself."
"Like so many other women, I never planned a career in manufacturing but fell in love with “operations” during some university courses. I have been blessed with finding a career I am passionate about and hope that other young ladies consider manufacturing as an exciting career choice."
“I think it’s very satisfying having something tangible in your hands. I find that so much of our lives are in our heads and our thumbs on our devices. So having a job where we have a plant, you can walk around, you see people making things, you look at the products and you discuss and design … I really like that because so much of the rest of my life is in my head, sitting at a desk.”
"I have been in manufacturing for 18 years now! 8 years in Metrie and before that was with a sister company. Before joining this industry, I was waitressing for 17 years. One day, I had enough with a customer. A friend had just got into manufacturing that time and I asked her to get me a job there too."
"We need women to be part of this transformative change that we’re going through and help shepherd the change with a keen eye on climate change, safety, and all those things that kind of come naturally to us. Manufacturing is such a rewarding place to work and offers so many invaluable learning opportunities."
“Currently I am attending Confederation College in the Mechanical Engineering Technician program [2018-2020]. I recently graduated from the Welding Techniques program [2017-2018] with a Canadian Welding Bureau ticket for Shielded Metal Arc Welding. Attending these programs so far from home, created a lot of opportunities for me, not only as a woman, but also as an Indigenous woman.”
HERStory | Leila Keshavjee
“Leila Keshavjee is the Founder and CEO of Happy Pops – an all-natural frozen treat company based in Toronto. When Leila graduated with a degree in kinesiology from the University of Toronto, she founded Happy Pops after learning that there are many names for sugar and it’s often difficult to find products with ingredients you can recognize.”
HERStory | Sabrina Fiorellino
“Sabrina Fiorellino has created a number of companies in her lifetime and is a lawyer by background who was responsible for doing mergers and acquisitions on Bay Street for a number of years. Sabrina has always been an entrepreneur, starting her first company at the age of 18.”