In the heavy equipment industry, a substantial portion of the workforce is nearing retirement, while a concerning shortage of young or new workers is prevalent. This skilled labor shortage poses a significant challenge for dealers and is estimated to cost the industry a staggering $2.4 billion annually in lost revenue. Consequently, dealerships are compelled to devise innovative strategies to attract new talent, including actively engaging with a historically underrepresented demographic: women.
Employers within the construction, mining, and agriculture sectors are increasingly recognizing and courting female workers. Despite this, progress towards achieving gender equality in the heavy equipment industry has been perceived as stagnant. The industry is on the cusp of transformation, and addressing gender disparity is a crucial aspect of this evolution.
To gauge the perspectives of women in the construction equipment industry on this issue, Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) organized its inaugural Women in Construction Equipment Roundtable on May 17, 2018, in Chicago. The event saw participation from women representing 19 organizations closely linked to the construction equipment industry, encompassing both dealers and manufacturers. The focal points of discussion during the Roundtable were two critical questions:
1. How can we attract more women to the industry?
2. How can we support each other and other women within the industry?
This report encapsulates the valuable insights shared during the Roundtable discussions. AED aims to present these insights, along with identified challenges and potential solutions, to guide manufacturers and dealers in eradicating gender bias within their organizations. Prior to tailoring solutions that promote a gender-equal workforce and address the labor shortage crisis, understanding the genuine aspirations of women as employees is imperative.