#SWAAYthenarrative

Manufacturing is Not Just a Man's Job

Gender divides in many industries have evaporated over the decades, and in the 21st century women can be everything from business leaders to coding rockstars. However, there are some roles that are still seen as fundamentally and irredeemably dominated by either male or female employees.

When it comes to manufacturing, there is definitely the enduring stereotype of this being a job for men. However, while traditional distinctions still ring true in some contexts, the hard work of trail-blazing women in this industry and improvements to employment practices are starting to change perceptions and open up opportunities for the next generation.

The solution to a skills shortage

One of the reasons that manufacturing firms are eager to encourage more women to work in roles more usually occupied by men is that there is a shortage of skilled workers in many areas at the moment.

This means that even if firms are able to acquire equipment affordably from sites like Revelation Machinery, they might struggle to find anyone with the necessary skills to operate it.

The creation of more vocational education courses around the use of manufacturing kit has been pursued by various institutions and establishments, with many explicitly setting out to grab the attention of females looking for training with a view to securing a good career at the end of it.

As machinery becomes more complex and reliant on automation, manufacturing is also moving away from the era in which physical exertion was a major part of the job. Today it is more important to be computer literate and a quick learner than it is to boast brute strength. As such the barriers to entry which would have dissuaded women from considering manufacturing jobs in the past have been removed by the rise of technology.

The amenability of working conditions

Another aspect of manufacturing that has made it less attractive to women in bygone eras is the reliance on shift work which many firms put in place in the early part of the 20th century and then took a long time to move away from.

This led to factory jobs being fairly anti-social, since striking a good balance between work commitments and domestic life was difficult if you could be working all day one week and all night the next.

Again, modernization to the methods and machinery, as well as progressive changes to company policies made to accommodate a more diverse workforce, has helped do away with such undesirable aspects of the job. Companies have the flexibility to offer employees shifts that will not get in the way of having a life away from the factory floor, which is ideal for women who want to have a career and raise a family at the same time.

The pay & the perks

Jobs in manufacturing for women are gaining traction not just because there is ample demand for skilled workers and lots of training options available, but also because salaries are very competitive and career trajectories can offer plenty of progression to those with the ambitions to achieve.

Basic hourly wages are solid, but it is the prospect of making significantly more by taking advantage of overtime work that can seriously bolster the amount of take home pay that women can expect from manufacturing roles.

More businesses are also taking steps to improve employee job satisfaction by offering perks that are made available with females in mind. For example, wellness programs are increasingly common, allowing workers to find a better balance for their physical and mental states through things like exercise classes, training courses, community projects and much more besides.

The benefits for employers

While women are clearly being targeted for recruitment into manufacturing because businesses need more team members to operate their equipment and cope with demand, there are other unique things that they bring to the table that would otherwise be missing from the equation.

Chiefly it is through having a diversity of viewpoints and outlooks that real innovations can be made, since if the work is only seen from a male perspective, the full spectrum of opportunities for amelioration will not be encompassed.

In short, manufactures that want to push the envelope are incentivizing the employment of women because it is good for business.

Conclusions

While not every manufacturing firm is as enlightened and attuned to the rise of women workers in this field, there has never been a better time for females to enter this industry and find out why it is no longer a man's job, but a place with something for everyone.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.