Whilst initiatives like International Women In Engineering Day are promoting and celebrating this career path for females, they still only make up 10% of the entire workforce.
This figure has come on in leaps and bounds since 1960 when it was at 1%, but further action is needed. And this is especially true in the food manufacturing industry. Here, we explain why exactly the sector needs more women engineers…
The skills shortage
The existing engineering skills shortage is incredibly prevalent, especially in positions such as quality assurance. Combine this with the fact that the sector is thriving, and the supply and demand issue is only set to worsen.
To stop this problem from snowballing in future years, there needs to be a massive surge in engineers. This can be prompted by not only increasing the number of apprenticeships in the industry: ‘How Will Apprenticeships Allow The Food Manufacturing Industry To Move Forward’, but by also encouraging more women into food engineering roles.
Gender diversity leads to positive outcomes – and for any business. It’s been found that those that foster such environments are 15% more likely to perform better compared to those without it.
For innovation, it’s even more important. A workforce that is both diverse and inclusive is vital for encouraging different opinions and ideas, which are the driving forces behind innovation. Having both men and women in place also means that all perspectives are taken into account, allowing for improved products.
Promoting food engineering careers
In order to inspire the next generation, it’s crucial that more female engineers are positioned as role models. This is something that the Women’s Engineering Society strives to do.
School leavers and those younger are our future workforce, but unfortunately, the idea that engineering is a male-dominated career is still quite prominent. By increasing the number of women engineers, manufacturers are boosting awareness of such careers, contributing to the future of the profession.
How Silven can help
At Silven, we think changing this perception, and doing the utmost to educate and encourage females into the industry, is key to solving the problem. This is something that our Recruitment Manager John Pollard has shared his thoughts on.
Food and drink manufacturing employers have a huge role to play in helping females aspire to become engineers. If they work with schools to educate girls about the available engineering career paths for them, they can create change.
Attracting more women into engineering is one thing, getting the right calibre of talent is another. That’s where Silven come in. We take recruitment challenges off your hands. Combining expert knowledge and industry know-how, we keep you ahead of the curve, and get your roles filled – quickly.
To discover the finest candidates for your SME or small business, get in touch with our friendly team today.