opinion | Feminizing jobs in industry

By Stefania Tiberi (Head of the SYNERGIE agency and member of the SIMODEC Partner Committee)

Sent on January 13, 2020, 12:11 pmUpdated January 13, 2020 1:28 pm

The industry is known to be a melting pot of “men’s jobs”. And one might believe it if one is interested in the gender breakdown of professionals in this field.

However, beyond this simplistic version, it appears from the field that it is part of a vicious circle. Everyone – women and men – imagines that jobs in industry are jobs for men. Thus, by not giving them a voice, women have assimilated this stereotype. As a result, unfortunately they are not applying for jobs in this sector. And indeed, few women hold industrial positions, and therefore the notion of “man’s job” is anchored a little more.

Inform and encourage

We all have a responsibility to provide women with more information about industrial jobs and encourage them to apply. Before talking about the sector, therefore, it is important to talk about the profession. During conferences, information meetings in high schools or on job forums, we realized that the presentation of the various professions and possible outlets in the sector first aroused surprise and then interest.

Being an industry professional doesn’t just mean handling heavy loads or performing arduous tasks that require considerable human strength. Industry, like every sector, needs production professionals, of course, but also quality, robotics, maintenance professionals … The possibility of demonstrating the success of women in this sector by example allows us to consider , as a woman, a career in this business area.

This commercial information is most effective when it is transmitted through bilateral exchanges. From our experience, we have thus realized that every time we have attended – or organized – events of this type, the number of women applying for a job in the sector has increased in the geographic sector or organized the event.

Communicate differently

To remember that women have their place and the competence to take on industrial functions, it is necessary to no longer genderize the various communication tools of the industrial company.

> Grandstand |Ladies, dare the industry!

And this happens, for example, with the choice of photos on websites, which generally only feature male professionals. Likewise, hiring announcements can be better worded to allow women to project themselves into positions. Finally, it is possible to easily show the success of women in the field of industry.

Raise awareness and support

Mentalities, like habits, are difficult to change and not everything will happen immediately. But there is urgency and, above all, importance to move the lines if companies take this path. It is dangerous for gender training courses as there is no longer any gendered work in its feasibility.

Today the training for the professions in the sector only attracts 2 women for a class of 80 students. It is therefore necessary for companies to include lectures in schools in their awareness-raising initiatives where they can demonstrate that industrial professions are perfectly suited to both women and men.

Beyond this awareness in high schools or high schools, this change also involves supporting the change of mentality in companies: rethinking recruiting processes, changing internal mindsets … And every time a company in the sector has done this work, we have been able to see it paid off … and in a short time.

Stefania Tiberi he is the head of the Synergie agency and a member of the Simodec Partners Committee. Alessandra Rieu is responsible for senior missions and professional gender equality at Synergie.

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