The way we purchase products today has shifted in the last decade. Buyers do more research online than ever before, even in manufacturing. As a result, progressive manufacturers have begun to invest in marketing in a way they have never done before. We recognized an untouched opportunity in manufacturing, specifically for female graduates in Wisconsin.
Interested in this industry shift, we began to reach out to manufacturers who had either recently hired in marketing, or were seeking a candidate in marketing for the first time in the history of the company. We discovered the person often filling or applying for this role happened to often be a women.
With this recent realization, we began reaching out to other women who hold various titles in the manufacturing industry, from marketing to sales and recruitment, to get their perspective on the investment in building awareness about jobs in manufacturing. This post is a snapshot look into what we’ve collectively discovered and the ways we’d like to help open the new graduate community's eyes to opportunity in manufacturing.
Recognizing an opportunity for women in manufacturing
There are a number of manufacturers branching into digital marketing and expanding their marketing, and also a number of students graduating with marketing and communication degrees who aren't aware of these opportunities in manufacturing.
We met with agency owners, women working within manufacturing, internship directors and the local media to discuss the growing opportunities for women in the manufacturing sector. From there, we took it upon ourselves to get to work figuring out what could be done to help new graduates discover opportunities beyond the Fortune 500 companies headquartered within Wisconsin.
During our meeting, the overall problem we narrowed in on was exposure. Most students in search of an internship or job placement aren’t aware of the opportunity available in local small to midsize businesses. Without the exposure, they’re not prompted to apply to marketing and sales positions in manufacturing businesses. So, the question remains, how can we increase these students exposure to the smaller companies where the positions available in marketing and sales are not only lucrative, but can often times offer a higher level of responsibility and room for growth than that of a larger, more digitally experienced companies?
Bridging the gap: Graduation to Manufacturing
Ultimately, we would like to help facilitate the connection between these students entering the workforce and the manufacturing companies that would benefit from attracting young talent. One of our goals, as a company and as women in the manufacturing space, is facilitate conversations between students and the companies who need them most.
Already, we're organizing events to encourage discussion between manufacturers, marketers and students alike. We've partnered with manufacturers and educational organizations to help promote career paths in manufacturing in the internship offices of local schools like UWM, Alverno, and Marquette University.
Other ideas included helping to put together events that can introduce those in the industry to career seeking students and even tours of these companies to get a taste of what a day in the life is like. This next year we plan to work towards bridging the connection between student and manufacturing employer, while bringing awareness to an overlooked industry we’re passionate about.
Do you know of any manufacturers looking to expand their team with fresh talent in their marketing and sales departments? Or perhaps you’d like to contribute to the discussion of how to forge the path from marketing to manufacturing for Wisconsin graduates? Get in touch today!