Manufacturers are courting more women by promising well-paying positions that are both interesting and challenging, and women who have been educated in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—are particularly in demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women account for nearly half of the U.S. workforce but hold less than a third of the nation’s 12.2 million manufacturing jobs.
Companies are trying to dispel long-held beliefs that all factory jobs require heavy lifting or entail overly monotonous work. They are emphasizing that most factories are now utilizing high-tech equipment that enable employees to work more with their minds, and not as much with their backs, as few workers now have to lift more than 35 pounds, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. Such jobs often pay $20 or more per hour, compared to an average $12 hourly wage in the female-dominated travel and hospitality industry, the report said.
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