By Emily Probst, Managing Editor of Modern Machine Shop
Three women—a young welder, an experienced machinist/setup person and a shop owner—share what it is like to be a woman in manufacturing and illustrate that a more inclusive workforce helps the industry thrive.
While a good deal of the talk at this year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) focused on big data, automation and 3D-printing technologies, what struck me most was the undercurrent of change in our industry. There was a palpable uptick in the number of female attendees learning about new technology, leading seminars and making purchasing decisions. Moreover, a walk through the show’s Smartforce Student Summit revealed nonchalant, coed groups of young people seemingly unconcerned with the industry’s historic gender divide, foreshadowing change on the horizon and illuminating what could be a key piece to solving the workforce development puzzle.
This is such an important change that it is worth noting for its own sake. Greater inclusiveness in manufacturing is good for our industry, and it is playing out in very real ways in businesses across the United States. By examining the experiences of…