Canadian Manufacturing

We must include women in the manufacturing sector: Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters

CME is calling for extra funding for its Women in Manufacturing (WIM) program

March 8, 2021  by CM Staff

Hiring more women will help close the skills gap in manufacturing. PHOTO: Fotolia

OTTAWA — As today marks the start of the 4th Annual Women in Manufacturing Success Forum organized by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the association believes it is imperative that Canada increases the presence of women in the manufacturing sector to foster an inclusive economic recovery, given that women have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

To counter the pandemic’s impact on women’s employment, CME is calling for extra funding for its Women in Manufacturing (WIM) program, tax incentives to help employers to create childcare options, and additional money destined to help retrain women for jobs in manufacturing.

“Attracting more women into manufacturing professions is not only critical to help companies grow and replace their aging workforce, but it also provides women with careers that are high value, high tech, highly skilled and high paying”, said Rhonda Barnet, Immediate Past Chair of CME and President & COO of AVIT Manufacturing, in a prepared statement.

Like other sectors, manufacturing experienced a decline in women’s workforce participation rates due to the pandemic. However, unlike for men, those numbers have not yet been recouped. In fact, as of January 2021, female employment in Canadian manufacturing was 3.5% below its February 2020 pre-pandemic level, while male employment rose to 0.8% above this threshold. This shows us that COVID-19 caused unprecedented layoffs which are still felt by women today as we remain 18,200 jobs behind pre-pandemic female employment levels. To recoup these losses, we need to double down on our efforts.

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“CME supports an economic recovery that places more emphasis on women. To do this, measures must be put in place that promote the attraction and retention of women, particularly in the manufacturing sector. We must ensure that women are included at all levels in our organizations,” said Dennis Darby, president and CEO of CME.