Women in Industry

We foster measures that encourage women to access, thrive and lead in the industry

Women in Industry

SPRI leads since 2020 the “Women in Manufacturing expert group” of the Back to the Future project, promoted by the World Manufacturing Foundation, an organization based in Milan, Italy, which aims to spread industrial culture worldwide.

‘'Back to the Future” is the name of a relevant initiative promoted by the World Manufacturing Foundation, WMF, an organization that researches, debates and shares solutions for the manufacturing industry, a worldwide important economic and social sector that is essential for the Basque development.

Periodically, WMF brings together international teams of experts in different topics to address issues that affect manufacturing, focusing their research on different areas and exploring strategies that allow it to evolve in a competitive but also sustainable way.

 

Euskadi, transitioning to the new industry

Under the leadership of Cristina Oyón, director of Technology, Innovation and Sustainability of SPRI Group, the “Women in Manufacturing” Expert Group has gathered 25 experts from companies from different industries, international organizations and research centers from four continents. to discuss the situation of women in Industry and identify best practices and recommendations to improve their access, thrive and leadership in industrial companies. The conclusions of the meetings are the basis of the reports prepared for the World Economic Foundation, included below.

 

Women in Manufacturing Webinar

23/03/2022
Access the session video and the presentations


EU Industry Days 2022

02/08 - 02/11 | Brussels
Access the session video


World Manufacturing Forum 2021

20/10 - 21/10|Cernobbio - Lake Como, Italy

Access to: Reports, video and everything what happened there

Publications

 

WOMAN IN MANUFACTURING - White paper 2020

The work carried out during 2020 analysed the impact of COVID-19 on women and defined three areas of strategic action to work on in order to build a lasting and prosperous recovery of Industry: access, thrive and leadership of women.

The expert group identified the main barriers that women find in terms of access, development and leadership, as well as a series of opportunities and recommendations to work on these three areas of strategic action.

Access the publication here

 

WOMAN IN MANUFACTURING - White paper 2021

As an advance of the conclusions of the previous report, the expert group has identified measures that can help to close the gender gap in the industry.

This new report makes visible the need to undertake a cultural transformation that reinforces the role of women in access, thrive and leadership in the high value-added industry. To achieve this change, the Women in Manufacturing Expert Group has identified a series of building blocks and changing actions to be developed by the industrial organisations, academia and public administrations.

Access the publication here

Related documentation

“Women are harmed by workplaces designed without their needs in mind and it’s time to rethink them. The world of work needs a wholesale redesign led by data on female bodies and female lives. Designers are rarely equipped to see and understand the unique challenges created by gender inequality. By designing workplaces that work for women we have more opportunities to attract them”.

Lucía Velasco - Director, ONTSI

“Manufacturing industry has a patriarchal structure designed by men, for men and to keep women out at the beginning. Nobody wants to keep it this way and it is the system we are fighting against. We have cultural, domestic and business barriers to break”.

Rhonda Barnet - President and COO, AVIT Manufacturing

“Let’s claim the space. Let's make this a formal mandate for the World Manufacturing Forum. It’s not only about writing reports, but about engaging people”.

Rhonda Barnet - President and COO, AVIT Manufacturing

“If we want more girls to choose manufacturing as their career, curriculums related to manufacturing should be updated to match what really is going on in the industry”.

Fiona Zhao - Associate Professor, McGill University (Canada)

“Contribution of women is already there, but it is not yet recognized enough. Once we recognize it, we give it relevance”.

Fiona Zhao - Associate Professor, McGill University (Canada)

“The starting point is to show women have many things to say”

Giulia Artibani - Head of Communications, EFFRA

“As women we are not asking for our share, we are asking for our job’s value recognition, whatever it is”. 

Luciana Ciceri - CEO Ciceri de Mondel

“Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but the basis for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world, states SDGs Goal Number 5: jobwise gender equality must be based on equal job, risks, benefits and salaries”.

Luciana Ciceri - CEO Ciceri de Mondel

“Flexible and remote work environments are important and can promote women’s labor market inclusion. However, they are not free of risks: detachment from the workplace could weaken connections with peers and leaders, which could reduce opportunities for career advancement.”

Alina Sorgner - Research Affiliate, John Cabot University in Rome

“Gender-based discrimination starts in early childhood and continues at school, universities and the workplace. For a future where leadership is not associated with any gender, education, training and professional opportunities must equally empower girls and boys, women and men”.  

Cecilia Ugaz Estrada - Director of Gender Equality & Empowerment of Women Office, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“Flexible work arrangements, family-friendly policies and parental leave for women and men enable families to overcome gender stereotypes and distribute unpaid care work more equally”.

Cecilia Ugaz Estrada - Director of Gender Equality & Empowerment of Women Office, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

“Educational institutions should be mindful of existing gender gaps in high-demand skills and take steps to help female students improve their skills portfolios.”

Alina Sorgner - Research Affiliate, John Cabot University in Rome

“White papers are powerful when accompanied by key stakeholders’ concrete actions.”

Alina Sorgner - Research Affiliate, John Cabot University in Rome

“Women are not a homogeneous group. Different income levels, class, ethnicity or physical ability changes our experiences of the crisis. We should address all women’s concerns in the recovery”

Judith Kirton-Darling - Deputy General Secretary, IndustriAll European Trade Union

What it offers you

Gender equality no longer remains just a matter of human rights, but a fundamental question to ensure competitiveness and economic recovery

3 building blocks

Data & Research


To foster the collection of gender data on industrial activity, so that a monitoring of the evolution of women in Industry can be made.

Making Manufacturing Appealing


To show Industry as an economic activity based on technology, innovation and sustainability that generates economic, social and environmental value.

Female Role Models


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.

Access

Policy makers: international organisations, national and local governments…

  • Support, guide and advocate for action on STEM gender equality.
  • Update educational curriculum that encourages scientific and technological vocation among girls and young women.
  • Provide tools, information, contacts to educational centres and families.

Educational centres: schools, universities, research centres, think tanks…

  • Create alliances with industrial stakeholders in order to attract women.
  • Provide mentorship and Internship programmes.

Industry and industry-related associations

  • Provide mentorship programmes, role models and showcase the attractiveness of a new manufacturing model.

Policy makers: international organisations, national and local governments…

  • Suitable measures and actions to increase the share of female workers in manufacturing: benefits, a less risky and more flexible work environment, easy access to these jobs.
  • Economic responses and recovery plans with gender lens.

Educational centres: schools, universities, research centres, think tanks…

  • Develop gender-specific career paths that support women’s childbearing and childcare scenarios.
  • Concrete analysis and data provision: advantages or challenges of women’s participation in the manufacturing industry.

Industry and industry-related associations

  • Promote gender equality in recruiting and selection processes.
  • Build an outreach campaign to attract women into the manufacturing industry with university career centres.

Policy makers: international organisations, national and local governments…

  • Dedicated tools: tax support, funding programmes, infrastructure, networking.

Educational centres: schools, universities, research centres, think tanks…

  • Support early-stage women entrepreneurs (increase their performance and growth potential through entrepreneurial education and training).

Industry and industry-related associations

  • Guidance and training to women entrepreneurs (especially from associations).
  • Develop government and private sector funded incubators to mentor and financially support the female funded startups.

Thrive

Policy makers: international organisations, national and local governments…

  • Public childcare strategies: paternity and maternity leave.
  • Shared care responsibility within the family, leaving behind the traditional division of tasks.
  • In alliance with the private sector develop a binding legal framework that can promote work-life balance for both women and men.

Educational centres: schools, universities, research centres, think tanks…

  • Data and research: gender bias in the manufacturing industry.
  • Build a benchmarking model on equity and inclusion best practices for the manufacturing industry.
  • Develop training for male employees focused on unconscious bias and emotional intelligence.

Industry and industry-related associations

  • Provide supportive environments where women feel safe, valued and respected.
  • Leaders to assess current work culture and adjust it to promote a fair and equitable work environment.
  • Shift from a “presence-driven” culture to a “results-driven” culture.
  • Offer family-friendly tools and solutions for both men and women.

Policy makers: international organisations, national and local governments…

  • Mandate that companies publish gender pay bands for work categories.
  • Establish goals for gender representation and payment at all levels and track their progress.

Educational centres: schools, universities, research centres, think tanks…

  • Data and Research.
  • Gender pay gap report.

Industry and industry-related associations

  • Analysis of gender gaps in pay and career advancement and implementation of actions.
  • Promote company HR executives to analyse internal pay differences and make adjusted plans to achieve comparable amounts for men and women.
  • Have associations sponsor a pay survey that focuses on gender differences.

Policy makers: international organisations, national and local governments…

  • Financial support for companies that have specific programmes that support the presence, advancement and promotion of female workers.
  • Promote, develop and implement gender equality legal instruments.

Educational centres: schools, universities, research centres, think tanks…

  • Integrate gender equality into academia and research.
  • Develop a toolkit for mainstreaming and implementing gender equality plans within the manufacturing industry.

Industry and industry-related associations

  • Commitment from leaders to develop and promote gender-inclusive policies and practices.
  • Create company mentorship programmes that align female workers with high performers.

Lead

Policy makers: international organisations, national and local governments…

  • Set a standard of minimum level of participation of women in every decision-making process.
  • Provide financial incentives to companies that demonstrate a minimum level of participation of women in different decision-making processes.

Educational centres: schools, universities, research centres, think tanks…

  • Provide women with the training needed to support their growth on fundamental leadership skills, hard skills, soft skills, digital skills in alliance with industry and related associations.

Industry and industry-related associations

  • Ensure equal consultation with women and add weight to women’s priorities in decision making.
  • Create a campaign with key associations that has the goal of placing women in senior positions and on boards, and have member organisations be held accountable for moving the needle forward.

Policy makers: international organisations, national and local governments…

  • Develop legislation on company board representation.

Educational centres: schools, universities, research centres, think tanks…

  • Develop and implement training opportunities: leadership training in alliance with industry and related associations.

Industry and industry-related associations

  • Allow and increase gender diversity in boardrooms and take into account women’s role as corporate social change agents.
For whom it is

Interesting for companies that consider gender policies important to transition towards a sustainable, digital and services industry.

For policy makers: international organizations, national, regional and local governments..., and research stakeholders: schools, universities, research centers, think tanks...

And also for those interested in learning about strategic recommendations to allow women access, thrive and lead in industry.

If the industry acts now, what is the forecast for 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.

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