When asked to envision a welder, machinist, press brake operator, or other metal fabrication company employee, chances are you picture a male.
It’s true that the majority of metal fabrication careers are held by men; only 6% of welding jobs are held by women. But a growing number of women are making their mark on the industry.
Not only are women a great fit for welding and several other metal fabrication careers, females may have several advantages, too. Here’s why Fox Valley Metal-Tech encourages women to apply for their metal fabrication jobs in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Having time for family is important for men and women, but manufacturing hasn’t always been seen as a family-friendly profession because of its perceived long hours and odd shifts. Granted, there are some assembly line manufacturers that are hyper-focused on output and daily production numbers – which aren’t conducive to flexible work environments.
Custom metal fabrication is different, however, because employees don’t work on piece-meal assembly lines. Instead, they work on larger projects that require hands-on attention to detail. Because of our unique work model, Fox Valley Metal-Tech is able to offer four-day work weeks and summer hours. Employees can also opt for flexible start times to accommodate daycare drop-offs or family obligations.
Additionally, employees can participate in culture-building activities like golf outings, wellness events, corn hole tournaments, and more, all helping to build camaraderie. Fox Valley Metal-Tech wants each employee to have a voice and to engage in ways they feel comfortable.
There are calls for diversity in nearly every industry. Manufacturing, in general, has lagged behind others, and the challenge is multiplied by misperceptions from women and minorities about what it’s like to work in manufacturing.
Leaders in metal fabrication, like Fox Valley Metal-Tech, want to change the industry’s male-dominated mindset to include more female employees. While there’s been a shift among manufacturers to recruit more women workers, there also needs to be a mind shift among potential female recruits who need to see metal fabrication as a welcoming place where they can build their careers and enjoy the work they do.
There are a lot of myths about metal fabrication careers, namely that facilities are dirty, grimy, uncomfortable, and even unsafe. Modern facilities like those at Fox Valley Metal-Tech dispel these myths by offering well-lit, climate-controlled working environments and state-of-the-art air filtration. All work areas are extremely clean and comfortable, no matter the temperature outside.
Cranes and lift-assist technologies help comply with OSHA standards and eliminate ergonomic strains or heavy lifting, and proactive measures like routine equipment maintenance, safety training, and safety audits help ensure the company is doing all it can to achieve zero recordable injuries.
The required skills for welding and metal fabrication are especially suited for women, as women inherently have greater hand stability and dexterity, according to one study. Another study determined that women were better at tasks where precision and fine motor skills are required.
These qualities are conducive to the intricate work and highly detailed requirements of precision metal fabrication. Women who particularly enjoy art, handiwork, and design may find they thrive at accomplishing the highly precise tolerance requirements of welding, assembling, or painting custom metal fabricated pieces. At Fox Valley Metal-Tech, we consider our craftsmen and women to be industrial artists, appealing to those who enjoy creative tasks.
Welding is what first comes to mind when thinking about metal fabrication, but there are a number of non-welding career paths available in the industry. At Fox Valley Metal-Tech, women are present in the entire manufacturing process, from the shop floor to programming. We also have several female employees who serve in sales, HR, accounting, and more. Women can make their mark in every single aspect of the company.