Over the last few decades, there has been a move away from stereotyping certain jobs or professions based on gender. Where many fields were once traditionally reserved, in a manner of speaking, for men, more and more women are now establishing careers as:
- Airline pilots
- Professional athletes
- Military personnel
However, a particular sector that seems to be lagging behind is manufacturing. While women are increasingly pursuing an education in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math, there is evidence to suggest that a gender bias still exist in the minds of employers with respect to hiring women for manufacturing jobs.
A recently-published Columbia Business School study indicates that hiring managers in the manufacturing sector still favour/choose men to fill open jobs, even when the men are less qualified than female candidates.
In this study, men and women were required to complete the same mathematical task in a period of four minutes. All candidates completed the task and received a score based on the accuracy/correctness of their test results – it should also be noted that men and women performed this task equally well. Hiring managers were subsequently asked to decide whether they would hire each candidate based on:
- Gender only (before test results were revealed)
- Candidate gender plus their actual test score
The study determined that men were chosen more frequently than women in both cases and, within the latter parameter, even when some women had higher test scores. This was felt to be indicative of unconscious gender bias – a deep-rooted belief on the part of the hiring managers than women are generally less suited for manufacturing jobs than men in spite of their education, qualifications, and actual capabilities.
Perhaps even more telling was the finding that female hiring managers demonstrated a similar degree of gender bias as their male counterparts.
Based on the results of this study, its author suggested that stereotyping or gender bias can/will negatively influence hiring decisions for manufacturing jobs, which can in turn be detrimental to employers if they subsequently hire less talented/less qualified staff due to such a predisposition.
The Advantages Of Staffing Agencies For Manufacturing Employers
Although most people might agree that stereotyping or gender bias should be suspended when hiring for manufacturing jobs, this is likely a behaviour change that is easier said than done. One option that an employer may wish to pursue is the use of a staffing agency such as Winters Technical Staffing, in the candidate selection and hiring process for the manufacturing industry.
Winters Technical Staffing offers manufacturing employers a degree of neutrality/impartiality within the hiring process and by extension alleviates the influence of gender bias in candidate selection.
Moreover, as a neutral third party agency, our staffing agency will recommend candidates based on the following:
- Objective assessment (versus a subjective opinion)
- Merit – skills, experience, educational background
- Potential for long-term contributions to the employer
- Prospects for advancement/additional responsibilities
- Insight and acumen – fresh ideas and perspectives
- Propensity for teamwork/a good fit with the company
To secure the best available talent for your employment needs, consider the benefits of collaborating with Winters Technical Staffing, a recognized leader among staffing agencies within the manufacturing sector. Call Winters Technical Staffing today at 1-877-495-7422 or contact us to capitalize on our extensive experience and success working with employers in your specific industry.