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The Women in Manufacturing Initiative - Changing Perceptions

The Women in Manufacturing Initiative was launched by trade association, British Glass, with the aim of bringing together the UK’s manufacturing and engineering communities to attract and support women in industry at all levels.

It is no secret that the manufacturing and engineering sectors are mainly male dominated. The initiative, set up by British Glass, aims to help tackle this issue by encouraging more women to get involved in specific subjects and lead them towards well paid and fulfilling careers.

The Importance of the Women in Manufacturing Initiative

The initiative was launched to help combat the small numbers of females taking up science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. At the moment, the UK have the lowest percentage of female professional engineers in the EU with just 8.7% compared to 29% in Bulgaria and 26% in Sweden. These statistics come from a sub-project of British Glass’ training and skills development division, called the Glass Academy.

In such an innovative and technologically advanced sector, British Glass feel disappointed that such a small amount of girls and women are inspired to get involved with modern manufacturing and engineering.

Times are Changing

Unfortunately there are preconceived ideas about the reality of jobs in manufacturing and engineering. What the Women in Manufacturing initiative seeks to do is get rid of these ideas and inspire women to seriously consider these sectors as a career.

An event was held at the House of Commons to launch the Women in Manufacturing initiative. In attendance were high profile representatives from bodies such as government, education and industry, including Thales, UCL and Siemens.

Lord Nash, Education Minister and keynote speaker at the event spoke about the importance of industry and education joining together to address the lack of women in STEM careers.

Aims & Ambitions

The Women in Manufacturing Initiative hopes to get education, industry and government to work together to raise awareness of fulfilling jobs within the manufacturing sector. The goal is to encourage young women to study STEM subjects as well as eliminate preconceptions of male dominated industries.

There are a few ways that the Women in Manufacturing Initiative plans to support women in this sector. One example would be the Charter, launched back in 2014 and backed by around 100 livery companies of the City of London. The aim of this pledge is to see businesses take on more young female apprenticeships across different professions, helping the sector grow and develop.

You can find out more about how companies are committing to changing the manufacturing and engineering sector for women by visiting the ‘Your Life’ campaign website.

So what do you think of the Women in Manufacturing Initiative? Is it a positive step in the right direction or have they got it wrong? Let us know!

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