Women in the tech and manufacturing sectors

Jobs in the tech industry have risen by 0.1 percent, according to a study by TechServe Alliance and reported by Staffing Industry.

"While the rate of growth in IT employment ebbs and flows month-over-month, we have now had a stretch of 56 consecutive months of posting positive numbers," said TechServe Alliance CEO Mark Roberts. "Based on all the data we see as well as the front-line reports of my member companies, I believe future growth in many IT and engineering skill sets will actually be impeded more by the lack of supply of qualified candidates than by lack of demand."

Manufacturing jobs are on the rise just as much as tech-sector occupations and both industries are light on the number of people qualified to take up these positions. Many manufacturing companies that want to fill these roles are looking toward women. This group hasn't traditionally been targeted by the largely male group of people in the tech and manufacturing sectors, according to The Associated Press. While the tech sector still struggles to fill its companies with women, the manufacturing sector is beginning to find a large portion of its jobs being taken by qualified female candidates who are just as able at their jobs as their male counterparts.

Harley Davidson is one company that has begun actively recruiting women at job fairs and trade schools for heavy manufacturing positions.

"We know we want to sell to those customers, so we should look like the people we want to sell to," said Tonit Calaway said, Harley's vice president of human resources. She also added that 21 percent of the company's manufacturing workers around the were were female.

The general feeling is that recruiters aren't doing enough to encourage women to join the manufacturing workforce. In the early '90s, women in manufacturing peaked and decreased during the recession. Meanwhile, men began to grow in the position, gaining 500,000 jobs since 2009. The requirements for manufacturing have become easier for women workers. For example, the necessity to lift more than 35 pounds has become less common. Hourly wages have also increased overall since the recession.

The proportion of men and women in the manufacturing sector has begun to change since the new decade.

Women on the rise
Women have been increasing in number within the manufacturing sector, although they still only represented a little over a quarter of the industry workforce in 2013, according Forbes. The number is growing because more qualified women are coming out of schools, ready take the jobs that would otherwise go unfilled.

According to studies by Catalyst, a non-profit dedicated to bringing women into the workplace, companies with women in comparable positions as men, such as management jobs, tend to do better financially. They are also better at maintaining a good reputation and boosting innovation.

Women still underrepresented in the tech sector
Meanwhile, as the manufacturing industry grows in the number of women who work there, the tech sector is still dramatically held by males. According to Information Age, one way that companies like Google could appeal to women is by offering things like egg freezing. The initial news about this was controversial, but the bottom line, according to Information Age is that many women don't want to risk not having children if they can find a way to have babies later in life. Many women who work in the tech industry are young, and don't want to put their careers on hold to worry about children. At the same time, they still want to have children in the future. Google, it would seem, has theorized that by offering egg-freezing it gives its workers to chance to have children when they feel the time is right.

Whether this is a good idea or not, from the recruiting standpoint, it seems the manufacturing industry is doing just fine without offering women the chance to freeze their eggs, while the tech industry still has a reputation for being somewhat male-orientated. Whether egg freezing will promote women workers will have to be seen in the future hiring patterns of Google.

Having a diverse enough group of people in a working community helps people think more creatively. From a recruiter's point of view, it pays to help clients meet their diversity needs.