A recent paper from Deloitte, "Minding the Gender Gap in Manufacturing," talked about what can be done about manufacturing's gender gap. Deloitte noted that "over the next decade, nearly 3.5 million manufacturing jobs likely will need to be filled, and the skills gap is expected to result in some 700,000 of those jobs going unfilled. Closing this gap includes closing the gender gap."
Women, Deloitte said, constitute manufacturing's largest pool of untapped talent in the United States and comprise over one-fourth (27%) of the total U.S. labor force. With manufacturers struggling to fill open positions, finding a way to tap into the talent pool of women and attract them into the manufacturing sector is critical.
One company that has stepped up to the plate when it comes to both education and attracting women into manufacturing is R&D Plastics, a custom injection molder and moldmaker in Hillsboro, OR. Rod Roth cut his teeth on plastics, and if you've been in the industry long enough, you might remember his father, Merrill Roth, who along with a partner founded Grant & Roth in 1946. In 1996, Roth established a scholarship fund for women in plastics at Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham, WA, in memory of his late wife, Ivy A. Roth.