Encouraging women into roles dominated by men is a hot button topic at the moment. With a big drive towards encouraging women into STEM, it’s important to acknowledge the lack of women in engineering, manufacturing and robotics.
Whilst it would be wrong to assume that there are no women in these fields, it’s safe to say that a career in manufacturing is not always the first choice for a woman. Companies around the globe have been working to close the gender gap in these sectors for years. Not only does encouraging women into manufacturing offer women more career opportunities, but it also brings a new pool of untapped talent and skills to the manufacturing sector.
Misconceptions about manufacturing and robotics have often made women feel unwilling, uncomfortable or unworthy to join that sector of the workforce. However, with attractive upwards mobility, learning opportunities, a supportive community and great pay, careers in manufacturing and robotics should be viewed as interesting and exciting to women.
As a woman, you may not feel represented within the industry. There are, however, a few female manufacturing icons that you can look to for inspiration. The most famous of course is Rosie the Riveter, an allegorical cultural icon of World War II in the US. She represented the women who worked in factories and shipyards at that time. These women sometimes took entirely new jobs replacing the male workers who joined the military.
Fast-forward to today, and there are female manufacturing success stories in abundance from around the world. In a bid to raise the profile of women in the industry, many manufacturing organisations actively create and promote community initiatives that support women in manufacturing. There’s still work to be done, but there are women out there in this sector that are all too keen to share their stories and inspire others.
RNA Automation takes you through two more important reasons why more women should seriously consider a career in manufacturing…
Diversity is key
If you’ve only got one type of person in your workplace, you’re only going to get one type of viewpoint and one type of idea. This is why a workforce and management team with a healthy gender balance is key. Diversity brings with it a wealth of viewpoints, ideas and thought that can both benefit a board of directors and a workforce, due to diversity enhancing both the work environment and decision making processes. A multitude of different perspectives can spark creativity and innovation – both key elements in manufacturing and robotics.
Organisations that reflect the attitudes of the fast changing world we live in are best placed to understand consumers and deliver to their customers. This means that not only should the management of individual companies understand how important forward-thinking and diversity is, but the company’s diversity should reflect the diversity of their community and their customers.
Forward thinking organisations have already put measures in place to increase diversity within their workforces, but there’s a lot of work still to be done. As a woman in STEM, you can be a significant part of change from the ground up and build a future for other women in manufacturing and robotics. Not only will you be contributing to the movement in bridging the gender gap, but you could also become the reason that more women feel inspired to explore this industry.
Learn on the job… non-stop!
If you’re someone driven by curiosity and excited to learn, then a career in manufacturing could be perfect. Manufacturing can offer women exciting, fulfilling, and colourful careers with opportunities to constantly learn and explore. Once you’ve got the job, the development never ends. There is a strong focus on training within this industry, with many manufacturing companies offering their own training programmes and structures.
Whether you are starting from scratch, wanting to learn management skills, or get into the HR side of the industry – manufacturing companies have a long, proud heritage in training. You may not even be sure where you’re best placed to fit within this industry just yet, but manufacturing will give you the opportunity to discover it. Whatever your particular passion is, you’ll be able to find the career path that’s right for you.