Today, March 8, 2022, is International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. We thought it fitting to reshare a recently published article from our Iron Strong Insights Magazine, co-authored by Mickie Coggin, McWane Inc. Communications Manager, and Jolinda Kistler, McWane Ductile-Ohio Human Resources Manager, on the importance of diversity in the workplace.
Over the years, manufacturing companies have not made as much progress with diversity and inclusion – specifically in recruiting women – like other sectors, but by working together and sharing best practices, we can become more effective in this initiative.
The preconceived notions and working environment in the foundry make achieving diversity challenging. Historically, underrepresented groups have not viewed manufacturing as a welcoming place to work, but that is changing.
When Did McWane Ductile Notice More Female Applicants?
In 2014, McWane Ductile in Coshocton, Ohio, noticed that more females were applying for jobs in the foundry. This trend continued in 2018 when they started a second shift at the foundry. Several female applicants had some level of prior experience in manufacturing while others had little or no experience in the field.
Many applicants with prior work experience outside of manufacturing had skillsets — such as organizational agility, multitasking, and problem-solving — that would translate well into production roles. The common thread among these applicants was their willingness to do whatever it took to get the job done.
Pictured Above Left: DeShawna Scarnecchia, Poles Utility
“Co-workers are supportive in training for the jobs. As I proved I could do the work, I gained respect from my co-workers. I enjoy the work and am very proud to be a part of McWane.”
Pictured Above Right: Katilyn Dent, Utility Relief Melting
“I am proud to know that I play a part in making the Ductile iron pipe that provides water to people. I also appreciate the wages and the benefits so I can support my family.”
What is Important to Females in Manufacturing?
McWane Ductile Ohio (MDO) joins Amerex as leaders among the McWane family of companies with the highest number of female team members. Currently, MDO has 38 production, and 41 salaried for a total of 79. The facility’s Human Resources Manager, Jolinda Kistler heads up recruitment and knows firsthand what candidates will be facing working in the foundry.
Prior to joining MDO, Jolinda worked in manufacturing, which gives her an advantage when trying to recruit diverse talent. Additionally, MDO has partnered with local recruiting agencies to supplement its outreach, including Job and Family Services, the Coshocton County Chamber of Commerce, Business & Professional Women, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
"The McWane Way Teamwork compass point encourages and requires us to Help Each Other Be Great — regardless of our race, gender or ethnicity, and these new team members are dependable hard workers with an innate attention to detail and who work well with the team," said Kistler.
Pictured Above Left: Jessica Durben, Finishing Labor Pool
“I like the fact that my co-workers help each other out and watch each other’s backs for safety.”
Pictured Above Right: Valerie Thornsley, Pipe Shop Clean Up
“I enjoy the manufacturing environment and like what I do each day. I can support my son with the good wages and benefits.”
"Team member referral has proven beneficial in recruiting diverse candidates. Our team members are happy with their wages and benefits and feel better prepared to support their families, and they share these sentiments with family and friends. Word of mouth is a powerful tool, and the word is spreading that MDO is a great place to work and one of the better-paying employers in the Coshocton community."
Not only have female team members performed well in the foundry, but they are also moving up in the ranks. Two production workers have been promoted to the role of inspector, an external candidate was onboarded for an inspector role, and another team member was promoted to flange operations manager. A more diverse workforce can improve morale and employee engagement, which in turn increases productivity.
At McWane, we strive to forge inclusive work cultures, where women’s careers thrive and achievements are celebrated. We All Win Together when working as a team. To learn more about International Women's Day, visit InternationalWomensDay.com.