Celebrating a growing number of women within engineering and manufacturing

For some years now, governments and industrial sectors around the world have stepped up their efforts to recruit a greater number of women into engineering roles – not before time in the view of many.

Despite all that is happening amid the coronavirus pandemic, this year is no exception to that area of recruitment focus, with June 23rd being International Women in Engineering Day.

For 2020, Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of Make UK, the manufacturers’ organisation, called on young women across the UK to join its diverse and talented intake of apprentices, to meet the ongoing challenges that both the sector and UK now face – including businesses within the confectionery and bakery equipment segment.

As the trade body noted, the proportion of women in Britain joining the sector as apprentices stands at just 7.5%; while at Make UK, however, women accounted for almost 10% of the 2019/20 intake at its Technology Hub in Aston, Birmingham.

Dame Judith noted: “2020 has demonstrated to us all, more than ever before, the need for talented people to address the challenges we face in engineering, manufacturing and in every aspect of how we live our lives. Solutions to some of the biggest challenges we’ve ever faced require diverse and inclusive teams – women and men from all backgrounds.”

From speaking to a number of businesses across the confectionery and bakery sector over the past few years, it has been evident that strides are being made to encourage a greater number of women into a sector that was historically seen as a male-dominated sector. But with technology playing an ever-greater role attracting both young male and female apprentices, it’s clear that the employment imbalance is gradually showing a notable shift.

It’s through creative gestures such as the newly competition for youngsters to design a lorry from household objects, organised by Nestlé Halifax employees Deanna Sharma, Maintenance Planner and Hannah Worthing, Maintenance Manager, (pictured), that can really make a difference and inspire teenagers into manufacturing careers.

If you can capture the imaginations at a relatively young age, then that’s surely the best means of ensuring that our engineering and manufacturing sectors – which were once the backbone of British industry, will be fit for the digitally-led future.


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