The Million Moms Who Need to March Part II: The Irony of the “pink” slip
In Million Moms Part I (December 10, 2008) ManufactureThis noted the huge increase of women in manufacturing over the past 25 years and, by extension, the impact that the current manufacturing downturn is having on women and their families.
The percentage of working women on assembly lines jumped from 14% in the 1980s to 23% today. Women in dual-earner households bring in a critical one-third of family income, and as 81% of single parent households are headed by women, a single mom layoff can be particularly devastating.
But not all job losses for women in manufacturing are line or assembly workers – in fact, the absorption of women workers into many fields within the manufacturing world has been widespread over the past two decades. Yet in all the debate about “stimulus-this” and “bail-out that,” we have yet to hear a political figure or economist specifically note the role of, and impact to, women as job losses continue to rise.
Last December, the State of Colorado experienced many mass layoffs in that month alone. Of the thousands of those laid off workers, 63.8% were women.
Manufacturing employment fell by 149,000 jobs in December, with the unemployment rate for women reaching 5.9%. What the manufacturing figures alone do not take into account is the distribution of women throughout manufacturing itself and associated layoffs in seemingly unrelated fields.
The majority of retail, hospitality and service industry jobs are held by women. Most temporary or part time positions are also filled by women. As the prevailing assumption would be that most of these workers are young women, many of them are older workers previously laid off from other higher paying jobs, or women seniors who need additional income to supplement their Social Security.
More than half a million retail jobs were lost in 2008, hospitality and leisure lost nearly 25,000, and even the “temp” industry was down by 81,000. Another sector expected to experience layoffs in 2009 as tax revenues shrink as a result of manufacturing decline are state and local government jobs, which are also predominantly held by women.
Few pundits and analysts use statistics of layoffs or hiring freezes in ancillary industries when calculating manufacturing job losses. If a GM plant shuts down, the sub shop, hamburger joint, video arcade and dry cleaners down the road are in for a rude awakening.
If the valve manufacturer slows production, it’s not just the blue collar line workers that are going to be hit, but white collar women engineers, production managers and inventory control specialists who are also going to receive pink slips.
When the steel plant slows down, none of the laid-off workers are going to head to Bennigan’s or Joe’s Bar and Grill on Friday to spend part of a paycheck they are no longer receiving.
If line workers at the glass factory are furloughed, Mary and Sue are not going to head to the mall to splurge on a new purse or the latest in basketball shoes for their kids.
The good news is that in business, women are hardwired to be more flexible, more collaborative, more able to “see” multiple variables in 360 degrees (at 17 and 24 my kids still swear I have eyes in the back of my head), and less risk averse – important qualities in these troubled economic times.
Companies are facing the necessity of having to do more with fewer workers – a time where women’s best qualities as listed above could make them even more valuable than some of their male counterparts. However, as women also tend to be less assertive about calling attention to their productivity and achievements, they need to be more vocal advocates for themselves and quantify and publicize their successes to their bosses.
In the wake of its massive financial system failure, Iceland appointed two women to try to turn its banking collapse around. President Obama has nominated a woman, Mary Schapiro to be the Commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
It is likely that these women were willing to metaphorically hop up on a chair and yell “Hey, over here! Look what I just did!” at some point in their careers.
As job losses in manufacturing and associated industries have the potential to hurt women the worst, in the absence of programs specifically designed to assist them with their unique needs from layoffs, women can and should be their own biggest fans.
Historically, blue is for boys and pink has been for girls.
But when it comes to 2009 clothing metaphors -- blue collars and pink slips are no longer subject to gender bias or traditional associations.Phentermine Heart Damage Actos Canada Online Pharmacy Phentermine Plavix Phentermine No Priscription Diet Ky Phentermine Pill Ship That A159 Phentermine Heart Problems Related To Phentermine Phentermine 37.5 A 159 Phentermine 30 Mg C Iv Phentermine Mail Order Canada Discount Phentermine The Offical Site Index Phentermine Oreder Phentermine And Dental Surgery Buy Phentermine Without Providing Doctor's Info Phentermine 37.5mg Cheap Phentermine October Phentermine Without Prescription In Usa Buy Phentermine Form Eurpoe Cheap 37.5 Phentermine Phentermine Accepts Cod Phentermine Diet Tablets Phentermine 37 5 Order Medication Buying Discout Phentermine Online Phentermine 37.5mg 90 Phentermine Foods Guaranteed Overnight Phentermine Without Prescription Phentermine Hcl Without A Prescription Phentermine 37.5 90 Free Shipping Phentermine Online With Free 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