Although thoughts differ on how to encourage more women to enter the manufacturing field, one thing is certain: companies benefit from a diverse workforce.
“Innovation increases when you get different people working together,” says Patricia Buckley, managing director, economics, with Deloitte Services LP. “You’re going to get innovative solutions.
Buckley, along with several other industry insiders, discussed the value of women in manufacturing at a recent roundtable discussion held as part of SOUTHTEC. The conference took place Oct. 24-26 at the TD Convention Center in Greenville, showcasing the latest manufacturing technologies.
Kimberly Jackson, business operations with Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, says that women bring a perspective to the table that makes the company as a whole more competitive. For instance, in Honda vans, popular with mothers of young children, there’s often no place for a diaper bag or large purse. Having women on the manufacturing team allows the company to create a better product.
“Some facets aren’t considered,” Jackson says. “Women want certain things not offered in vehicles.”