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From Rosie the Riveter to Women in Manufacturing Today

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Posted on: June 18th, 2019

Manufacturing has been a boys’ club for a long time, but as more women enter the industry by choice, it’s important to remember the roots from which we came. The manufacturing industry has changed drastically over the past few decades, with increased technological capabilities and an ever-changing workforce, but when it comes to women in the industry, we’re proud of how it’s developed. From the necessary push for women in the industry producing ammunition and other war supplies to where we are today, with women choosing a career path in manufacturing based on interest and skill set rather than a necessity, it’s been a winding road, and one we do our best to honor fully.

More Female Presence

Decades ago, women were only involved in manufacturing in a few roles. They were in administration, or accounting, but rarely seen outside of that when the labor was no longer required after World War II. In recent years, the standard has shifted. This is, in part, due to an increase in women studying engineering and manufacturing where they didn’t before, but it is also in part due to many more women willing to voice their interest, capabilities, and skills, in a predominantly male industrial environment.

Breaking Barriers

Let’s face it, when an industry is male-dominated, being a woman within that space isn’t always the easiest thing. In manufacturing, where the trend has been the same for so long, it was even harder. Entering the spaces that were originally left for “the boys” meant, and sometimes still means, having to develop an edge and depend on thick skin to get through. In some manufacturing circles, women are still not welcome on the production floor. That’s why at SpecMaster, we are dedicated to keeping the floor open to whoever fits the role, regardless of gender.

The Importance of Dedication

To rise through the ranks in the manufacturing industry, you have to have more than book knowledge. You have to be dedicated – to your company, to your role, to your industry, to furthering your knowledge through hands-on experience. More and more, women are showcasing this dedication through the desire to master the technical aspects of the job. From concepts to prints, to machining and beyond, women are ready to tackle the parts of this industry previously left to men, and they’re ready to tackle it with impressive precision, attention to detail, and compassion.

Changing the Way Things Are Done

After the war ended, and the need for a mostly female labor dissipated (with the men back home from war and the economy back on track, the scales tipped back in favor of homemaking), the industry shifted quickly as well. The opportunity for women in manufacturing dwindled. Now, the tides are turning again. SpecMaster is proud to have had women leadership and management for more than two decades. We have always believed in the power and humanity of women in the company. Long before other machining companies and manufacturers embodied the “Soft Skill” movement, SpecMaster utilized the empathetic and keen perception of female leadership. Women tend to see into the Soul of a business and recognize the needs of customers and employees.

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