Only in the last 80 years have women started to represent part of the manufacturing workforce in the U.S. In the grand scheme of things, 80 years isn't long at all. We have years of necessary changes ahead of us if we want more equitable communities in the U.S.
We comment on this topic as a women-owned screen printing shop. Traditionally, women in screen printing has meant arts and crafts rather than a serious occupation. It was even seen as extremely unusual for women to be in the manufacturing workforce at all pre-WW2. As of today, it's still rare to find a female-run, commercial printing shop.
On the bright side, women currently run many companies in the manufacturing industry. That being said, there are still many disparities, many of which extend far past the realm of assigned sexes.
For women in this industry, opportunities exist for creating a successful career with the satisfaction that comes from running your own business. As the owner of a female-run print shop, I feel it's necessary to encourage other women inspired by entrepreneurship in a creative field to consider the opportunities of running your own print shop. This is especially important due to the lack of representation in this field, and many other leadership roles.
In sum, we believe diversity is beneficial for any company regardless of the industry. Bringing in different perspectives can help a company grow and thrive!