TORONTO—On the eve of International Women’s Day, Canada’s largest industry and trade association took a significant step towards ensuring that women will figure prominently in the future of manufacturing.
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has launched a Women in Manufacturing Working Group to support, promote and encourage women to pursue careers in manufacturing; to grow the domestic skilled labour pool in Canada.
CME’s Women in Manufacturing Working Group held their inaugural meeting Mar 7. in Toronto, with Deb Matthews, deputy premier of Ontario and minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and Mitzie Hunter, provincial minister of Education, in attendance.
In Canada, women account for 47.5 per cent of the labour force but only 28 per cent of the manufacturing workforce. Only 5.6 per cent of employed women in Canada have a job in manufacturing, compared to 13.1 per cent of men.
There hasn’t been an increase in the share of manufacturing jobs held by women in 15 years, but CME’s Women in Manufacturing Working Group is trying to change that.
This initiative is a part of CME’s Industrie 2030 program, which aims to double manufacturing output in Canada by 2030.
According to CME, roughly 40 per cent of manufacturing businesses face skills and labour shortages, a figure that is expected to jump to 60 per cent in five years.
Attracting women to the sector could go a long way towards narrowing this gap.
“This initiative demonstrates how the private sector can have a substantive and positive influence on society and our economy. There is no job that a woman cannot do, and I’m delighted to see that CME not only agrees, but will promote women’s participation in STEM fields,” said Deputy Premier Matthews.