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5 October, 2021
SPRI Group will propose at the World Manufacturing Forum transformative actions to enhance the presence of women in the manufacturing industry

Cristina Oyón has led the international group of experts that has drafted the report that will be disclosed on October 20th and 21st at the World Manufacturing Forum, which can be followed online for free upon registration

The report highlights that increasing the presence of women in companies and corporations is not only a human rights issue, but also essential to ensure competitiveness and economic recovery

SPRI Group will present transformative actions to enhance the presence of women in the manufacturing industry at the World Manufacturing Forum, which is to be held on October 20th and 21st in Como (Italy). For this purpose, and for the second consecutive year, Cristina Oyón, the Director of Technology, Innovation and Sustainability of SPRI Group, has led the “Women in Manufacturing” group of experts within the project “Back to the Future: emerging topics for long term resilience in manufacturing” of the World Manufacturing Foundation.

The “Women in Manufacturing” international group is integrated by 20 experts from different fields of specialization (international organizations such as UNIDO, IndustriAll, IPAG and EFFRA, academia, private companies and public administration). The meetings of the group have been focused on analysing the main challenges faced by the manufacturing industry to ensure a greater degree of participation, recognition and leadership for women within the industry.

“The presence of women is essential in order to guarantee competitiveness and economic recovery”.


The group led by Cristina Oyón has prepared a report based on a series of data that shows the importance of incorporating female talent into the industry and urges the manufacturing industry to take action.

This report shows how the increase in the presence of women in companies is no longer just a human rights issue. It is also a fundamental issue to ensure competitiveness and economic recovery: in fact, it indicates that if the industry acts now, by 2050 the improvement in terms of gender equality will lead to an increase of between 6.1% and 9.6% in the EU’s per capita GDP, which equals to 1.95 – 3.15 billion euros.

The report shows the need to undertake a cultural transformation within the industry as a whole that is to reinforce the role of women in terms of access, promotion and leadership in the high-added-value manufacturing industry. To achieve this change, the Women in Manufacturing Expert Group proposes to work on the following three pillars:

  1. Improve and develop the collection of data that allows for research on the situation of women within the industry.
  2. Promote attractive manufacturing activities for women, based on technology, innovation and sustainability that generate economic, social and environmental value.
  3. Make the involvement of leading women manufacturing visible: such women will inspire and accompany other young women in becoming part of the industry.

To work on this direction the report identifies 8 “games-changing actions” to be developed with the participation of governments, international organizations, industry and industrial associations, universities and educational centres.

The event in Como on October 20th and 21st

The recommendations formulated by the group will be presented during the World Manufacturing Week on October 20th and 21st in Lake Como, Italy. The following experts will participate in the event and reflect on the participation and recognition of women in a new manufacturing industry that is to generate economic, social and environmental value:

  • Cristina Oyón, Director of Technology, Innovation and Sustainability of the SPRI Group.
  • Zeljko Pazin, Executive Director of European Factories of the Future Research Association (EFFRA).
  • Rhonda Barnet, President & CEO of AVIT Manufacturing and Founding member of Canada’s Women in Manufacturing.
  • Cecilia Ugaz, Director of Gender Equality & Empowerment of Women Office of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
  • Alina Sorgner, Assistant Professor at John Cabot University in Rome, Research Fellow at the Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), Research Affiliate at the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
  • Judith Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary of the IndustriAll Federation of Trade Unions.

Luciana Ciceri, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ciceri de Mondel


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