How many women do you work with? My guess is probably not many.
That’s because women are under-represented in the engineering field both here in New Zealand and the rest of the world. And we believe this is something that needs to change in order for our field to move forward.
Studies show that diversity within the workplace leads to increased innovation, motivation and creativity by bringing new talents, skills, perspectives and experiences to the team.
Here at FIK Laser, we are proud of the diverse culture we’re creating and want to encourage others to do the same.
Last week I sat down with some of the women from the team to see what they love about the engineering field and what we could do to encourage more females to join the field to help propel it further forward.
Here's what they had to say.
“We are problem solvers, good communicators and excellent multi-taskers. We also look outside the square and bring a totally different perspective to the problem. Innovation is big for me – approaching every problem from a different angle means more efficiency, growth and creativity. Also, I do like to hassle the guys!”
“Women are well organised, have positive attitudes, are great communicators and problem solvers and have a strong attention to detail. All of these things are required and are extremely beneficial in the office of an engineering business.”
“No two days are the same. I love the variety of customers and the work we produce. My role allows me to be creative.”
“I love working in engineering as the people are straight up, easy to get along with and really creative. We constantly work on resolving our customer's problems and we get to do cool things every day. I love that we get to contribute to the bigger picture by being part of a strong, capable team”
“Just employ more women! Females might not have the same physical strength on average, however, we bring plenty of other capabilities. In our workshop, we have three males and three females and we get “sh*t” done. Sarah also has the office, workshops and customers fully organised! We’re a great team together.”
“Give women the chance at the job, we can do just as good as men. Employing more women will make us feel much more comfortable knowing that the business has a great attitude towards women working in engineering businesses. Oh yeah, and maybe more good looking men too!”
“Have a gender-neutral attitude around engineering roles and accept that women have the same ability as men.”
“I do really enjoy the work, the people and seeing the work being accomplished. There is something so rewarding about seeing the project come together. I also love the physicality of the job and the different work styles coming together to form a great team environment”
“The most important thing for any business is to have clear, concise communication and training so that all staff are able to carry out their jobs successfully and with a sense of achievement and enjoyment. With the right tools at their disposal, everyone can succeed.”
"A well-rounded team doesn’t consist of just one skill-set, so why should it consist of one gender? A diverse team encourages growth, enjoyment in your role and innovation."
In my experience, having women on the team adds another set of eyes and a different perspective when problem-solving. I also find that women bring a focus to the shop. They make the rest of the team focus toward the goal of getting a job done well and on time.
So what do you think? Could your business benefit from some “girl-power”? Let's all be more open to having women in the industry. Unfortunately, engineering is often still considered a “mans job” when really employers should be looking at the skills women bring and being a good fit for your business.