On the 21st January, Glass International attended the launch of the Women in Manufacturing campaign, an initiative established by The Glass Academy.
Around 130 delegates attended, and the glass industry was represented by attendees from British Glass, Quinn Glass, O-I Manufacturing UK, Allied Glass, the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London, and The Glass Academy.
The initiative is focusing on the current need to get more young women involved in manufacturing, and aims to contribute to a cultural shift through education, to eliminate gender stereotyping from the industry.
The event was held in the House of Commons, and was hosted by Angela Smith MP, with speakers including Dave Dalton, CEO of British Glass, Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, and Lord Nash, Education Minister.
The speakers focused on the need for diversity, different perspectives, and creativity within the manufacturing industry. They also highlighted the incredibly low number of women that work within the UK manufacturing industry, with figures ranging from 6-10% of workers being female, compared to, for example, 29% in Bulgaria, 26% in Sweden, and 25% in Mexico.
The initiative’s patron, Nadja Swarovski, also added a few words: "Being a fifth generation member of a glass manufacturing family, I am passionate about engineering and technology, crafting and manufacturing – especially with glass… it’s really important that we educate younger women on the many wonderful career paths and help them to network with other women in the industry.”
A longer article will appear in a forthcoming issue of Glass International.