Female role models inspiring women in manufacturing

On behalf of the Manufacturing Growth Network (MGN), our client relationship manager Julie Mordue accompanied Philip Cunliffe, business editor of Insider Media on his recent visit to Walker Filtration.

MGN North East Growth 50 list named Walker Filtration named as one of the highest growing manufacturing businesses in the region. Each month MGN share insights into the success of these businesses.

Walker Filtration manufactures over two million components every year, and has 10,000 unique products in its range. This is done from its base in Washington, Tyne and Wear.

The gender balanced workforce at Walker Filtration is clearly visible. The shop floor is incredibly calm and quietly efficient. The phenomenal scale of production is under the leadership of Julie Robinson, who has been with the businesses nearly 30 years.

Julie is a great role model for both women in leadership, and women in manufacturing.

women in manufacturing

Female role models are key in attracting women into manufacturing & engineering careers.

Improving diversity and gender equality is not only the right thing to do – it makes business sense. Research suggests that businesses with diverse leadership teams are more innovative and productive. GDP could increase by an estimated £150 billion by 2025 by closing the gender gap.

Research by WES states that only 46.4% of girls aged 11-14 would consider a career in engineering compared to 70.3% of boys. Figures dramatically reduce to 25.4% of girls aged 16-18 compared to 51.9% of boys.

Having a role model plays a crucial role in inspiring and identifying routes to careers within STEM. Women find it easier to imagine themselves in roles when they’ve seen examples of other women doing it. Strategic future planning should include relatable role models of women in manufacturing to the younger generation. Through a blend of school engagement and social media activities we can encourage more girls to consider careers within manufacturing. Role models can also reach women working in other industries to highlight transferable skills, opening up a fresh talent pool.

The full interview Julie Robinson can be read here.