Millennial women are taking the workforce by storm. According to Inc.com almost 60% of all college students are women, demonstrating a growing gender gap in higher education - the so-called "ticket" to a high-paying job. A recent U.S. Census Bureau analysis shows that as more young women obtained college degrees, delayed having children, and joined the workforce, they edged out millennial men for better-paying jobs.
Inc.com continued, “And 57 percent millennial women have full-time, year-round jobs now, compared to just 46 percent in 1975.”
As millennial women continue to soar into the workforce en masse, employers will need to be equipped for female workers’ expectations to comfortably and efficiently perform their jobs. For employers, preparing for these needs will differ from their male workers – especially as we see more women taking on ‘nontraditional’ careers in typically male dominated fields.
THE FUTURE IS FEMALE
With the surge of women dominating the workforce it begs the question, do your uniforms and apparel include items specifically designed to fit a woman’s body?
ONE SIZE DOESN’T FIT ALL
More than half the American workforce is female and most cannot comfortably wear uniforms designed to fit men, which is why employers are looking to provide options to all employees regardless of gender and that are tailored specifically for their shape.
For years, women in job functions that require uniforms or branded apparel have been forced to wear items designed for their male counterparts, resulting in ill-fitting and uncomfortable clothing.
“Men want enough room in their uniform to work without appearing sloppy, while women expect workwear to provide the vast variety of fit and fabric performance offerings available to them at retail stores (curvy fit, straight fit, and fabric features such as stretch, soft, breathable, etc.). Women are multi-tasking between work and their private lives. They need a uniform that will take them straight through their work day and into many of their activities away from work,” says Vicki Stuhlreyer, Senior Manager of Technical Design at Cintas.
Females being outfitted in a man’s uniform can result in an unprofessional appearance, as the uniform is not tailored to a woman’s shape. A poor fitting uniform can affect mobility, efficiency and maneuverability, as it won’t naturally move with the female worker. This can result in lower productivity and higher amounts of downtime. When downtime and diminished productivity eats into overall facility efficiency this seemingly miniscule issue can affect your profits.
“Proper fitting (and comfortable) workwear can have infinite positive effects on productivity in the workplace. A behavior boost, resulting in enhanced customer service interactions for those with customer facing positions, is another potential advantage. Great workwear can also improve overall levels of employment satisfaction possibly resulting in increased employee retention,” Stuhlreyer.
“Females expect the same comfort and performance fabrics in their workwear as they do their everyday clothes. This turns our focus toward advanced technology fabrics in terms of stretch, breathability, moisture wicking, and fabric weight. Women no longer want to wear a modified men’s uniform,” says Stuhlreyer.
When providing your facility uniforms, the influx in female workers needs to be a high consideration point in your decision. This simple consideration can have a high impact on employee retention and uptime. Make informed spend decisions for your current and future workforce through Corporate United’s Uniforms and Facility Services program offered through our supplier partner Cintas. Be comfortably ready for your workday, everyday, regardless of gender.
Megan Urbas: Category Manager - Facilities at Corporate United
Megan is responsible for Category Management within the Facilities vertical. In this role, she serves as a category manager for Uniform & Facility Services, Fire Protection, First Aid & Safety, Branded Apparel, Total Waste Management, Material Handling and Small Parcel Solutions agreements. She works cross-functionally with stakeholders and suppliers to provide ongoing program support and implementation on existing and new growth categories. She also serves as a key advocate for Corporate United supplier relationships.