Engineering is a field that has traditionally been male-dominated, but in recent years, there has been a growing push to encourage more women to pursue careers in this rewarding and exciting industry.
By encouraging women to enter this field, we can tap into a wealth of untapped talent and ensure that the engineering industry remains diverse and inclusive.
In this article, we speak to Lucy Lawrence, manager at Moleroda Finishing Systems about how the industry can attract more female talent. Moleroda is a company spanning the sector, supplying deburring and finishing tools to the manufacturing industry.
The Benefits of Diversity in Engineering
Let’s talk about the benefits of increasing diversity in engineering, particularly in terms of attracting greater numbers of women into the industry.
Lucy “Diversity in any industry is a good thing, and engineering is no exception. By bringing more women into the field, we can ensure that the industry remains vibrant and innovative, with a range of perspectives and ideas being brought to the table. This, in turn, leads to more creative and effective solutions to problems, which is essential for the continued success of the industry. Additionally, by encouraging more women into the field, we can help to break down the gender stereotypes that often discourage girls from pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.”
The Importance of Role Models
You mentioned before the interview about having strong role models. Explain the importance of positive role models.
Lucy “One of the biggest obstacles that women face when entering the engineering industry is a lack of female role models. Many young women may not have anyone in their lives who works in engineering, which can make it difficult for them to envision themselves in this career path. By providing young women with access to female engineers who can serve as mentors and role models, we can help to inspire them to pursue careers in this field. This can be done through outreach programs, mentorship opportunities, and other initiatives that connect young women with female engineers.”
“Women in leadership roles can serve as role models and inspiration for other women in the industry. Engineering companies can support women getting into leadership roles by providing leadership training and development opportunities, and creating an inclusive work culture that values diversity and equality.”
Provide Flexible Work Options
I know you are quite passionate about creating opportunities for working mums. Tell me about that.
Lucy “One of the biggest challenges for women in engineering is balancing their careers with family life. By offering flexible work options, such as part-time work or remote work, engineering companies can help women stay in the field and advance in their careers.”
“Quite often, companies are missing out on brilliant human resources by not taking a more flexible approach. Within engineering, as with any other industry, flexible work options can also help women who are returning to work after taking time off for family reasons.”
“I know from experience that after having a family, I was infinitely more motivated to be useful at work. You know what they say ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person. Well who is more busy than an average parent!’.
Encourage Girls to Study STEM
If the opportunities are there, how would somebody ensure they are qualified for the role?
Lucy “First and foremost, encouraging girls to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects from a young age is crucial for increasing the number of women in engineering. This begins at schools, but we have a responsibility to show off the exciting and rewarding opportunities available in engineering, we can help them see it as a viable career option.”
“Thankfully, there is now a lot more positive PR around women in manufacturing, so young girls are being exposed to the endless possibilities. Growth in this messaging needs to continue.”
Finding your niche
Thanks for speaking to us Lucy. What are your final thoughts, and what would you say to anyone thinking about joining the engineering industry?
Lucy: “In my opinion, encouraging more women into the engineering industry is essential for ensuring that this field remains diverse and innovative. By providing support and resources, fostering a culture of inclusion, offering professional development opportunities, and encouraging young women to pursue careers in this field, we can help to create a more diverse and inclusive engineering industry that benefits everyone.”
“It’s worth recognising how diverse the engineering industry is, so there really is something for everyone. I truly believe that anybody can find their niche in the engineering sector. You only need to look at the Moleroda Products to get an idea of the range of sub-sectors, let alone the roles within them. We supply everyone from major aerospace companies and medical equipment manufacturers, to jewelry makers and restoration specialists.