Written by Melissa Basa, IMEC Regional Manager
With more than 500,000 unfilled manufacturing jobs in the United States in recent years, much has been hypothesized and written about the cause(s). If we consider the words of Warren Buffet, who in 2013 told Fortune Magazine that America has built our prosperity using only 50% of our talent and left an entire gender out of the equation for most of our history, we see that a solution is very much within our reach. But balancing the gender equation and bringing more women into manufacturing doesn’t require the same approach as increasing the ranks of men. Let’s look at an example (or three) from my Alma Mater.
In 2016, Dartmouth’s Thayer School of Engineering was the first US national research university to graduate an undergraduate class of engineers that was more than 50% female. Compare this to the national average that has yet to break 20%. But gender parity didn’t happen for Thayer overnight and it certainly didn’t happen without intentional cultural changes. I believe Thayer’s successes could be those of America’s shop floors as well.