Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Women and the Modular Housing Industry

Although women role models are rather scarce in the modular housing industry on the production line, in management and in sales, many women are finding professional success and satisfaction in the skilled trades offered by modular factories: construction, framing, electrical, plumbing and more.

Women in Construction.jpg

If the modular housing industry promotes trades work to women, and they see other women doing the jobs, a lot more will want in which will help the shortage of skilled labor on the production lines. The bigger challenge is improving the conditions so they stay in the field.

The Department of Labor Women's Bureau reports that women constitute 7.9 percent of painters; 5.4 percent of welders, solderers and braziers; 4 percent of sheet metal workers; 3.9 percent of machinists; 2 percent of HVAC specialists; 1.5 percent of pipe layers, pipe fitters and plumbers; 1.4 percent of carpenters; and 1 percent of roofers and electricians.

Labor experts attribute the low numbers to inadequate access to employment and training. As long as women can't reach critical mass in these jobs, as long as they are largely invisible, things will remain much as they are. There is still widely-accepted stereotypes about women's inability to do heavy lifting and use machinery and tools.

Turning next to factory management we see relatively few women in top positions. I speculate a lot of factories have GM’s, Sales Managers and CEO’s that have worked their way up from the production line, then through the sales department before moving into top management. Once women begin to fill more spots on the production and supervisory areas, the sooner more women will move into sales and then into management.

One of the bright spots for women in modular housing is sales. I’m encountering more every year with many being top sales producers.

If the modular home industry is to continue to be recognized as the best choice for building new homes we have to begin enticing, training and promoting more women into our industry.

1 comment:

Gwen Elliott said...

Interesting stats from the Department of Labor.