The manufacturing sector in the UK isn’t known for its abundance of female employees. Look around a typical manufacturing business and the vast majority of workers from the ground floor to the boardroom are likely to be men. This is especially the case among company directors. Among the largest FTSE100 manufacturers, according to The Manufacturer magazine, only 23% of senior managers are women, while the number of women as a proportion of employees in the manufacturing sector overall – including small businesses – is even lower, at a paltry 15%.
The Manufacturing Skills Shortage
At the same time our largely male sector is hit by a long-term skills shortage in many trades. The answer seems obvious: get more women involved in the manufacturing sector at all levels. Fortunately the tide seems to be moving in the right direction. There are plenty of opportunities in the manufacturing sector and plenty of women ready to take up the challenge. The issue for the industry is partly one of image; where an all-male, macho atmosphere can be off-putting for women, and partly one of opportunity – the industry needs strong advocates to promote the benefits of a manufacturing career to young women.
At Hone All we are doubly lucky in having as a director Andrea Rodney, a highly skilled professional, a tireless advocate of greater opportunities for women in the manufacturing industry as well as a champion for changing the image of UK manufacturing in order to attract a wide range of talent from all ages and genders.
Her voluntary work over the last 20 years has included contributing towards skills strategy with EEDA, NSAM, SEMTA, the MTA and the SFA as well as engaging with local schools and colleges on a regular basis. She is also the EEF Regional Advisory Board Chair for the East of England.
A Voice For The Future
On 21st June 2018 Andrea will be hosting a discussion and joining the panel debate at the Women & Diversity in Manufacturing Summit in Liverpool, on the subject of solving the UK manufacturing skills shortage. The summit is an opportunity for industry role models, entrepreneurs, mentors and senior engineers from across the manufacturing industry to share strategies for greater female involvement in the sector. This is a conversation our industry badly needs to have, and will discuss leadership, career opportunities, vocational training, the role of HR and attractive academic pathways for young women just leaving school and university.
Attend The Summit
Full event details can be found on the Women in Manufacturing & Diversity website, including a list of speakers and ticket registration info. We look forward to seeing some of you in Liverpool in June!