One for the ladies? International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

Not many people know that Women’s Day – which we now celebrate every spring on March 8 – was originally called International Working Women’s Day.

The first National Women’s Day was celebrated in 1910 in the United States. It focused on promoting equal rights, including suffrage, for women across the world. Although influenced by communist ideology, the celebration stood the test of time and irrespective of political or geographical coordinates is now a growing part of popular culture.

SEMTA, the Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies has researched the barriers that prevent women from getting on in engineering and manufacturing and, in an attempt to help them gain confidence, has created the Women and Work programme. The programme aims to bridge the workforce gap in the UK industry and help more women qualify as engineers, scientists and technicians.

The IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology) has been actively encouraging women to take up engineering positions. The trade body recognizes that if we want a viable solution to the skills shortage, more action needs to be taken to change the perception of engineering amongst girls.

REO is proud that a good portion of its managerial positions are held by ladies. As a European manufacturer with hundreds of employees based across Europe and the United States, REO has always encouraged an environment where women can work, learn and develop their careers. We recognise the ambition, hard work and dedication of our lady employees and endeavour to help them thrive further.

Jasminka Usein, a director of REO Inductive Components AG in Germany is a role model for women and REO employees alike. Here is what she had to say:

“I believe that the conversation about a career in engineering should start early in life. Whilst still young, boys are given toy trucks, building blocks, Lego and Mechano sets. Little girls, however, play with dolls, toy hoovers and kitchen utensils. Perhaps we should encourage girls as young as pre-school and guide them towards a career, helping them aspire to a senior role in manufacturing.

“Senior management roles are still described in terms of typical male attributes, but the industry must change its view, or it stands to lose a great deal of talent.

“I believe that by encouraging women to aim for the upper management level companies will benefit from a greater pool of talent. I am also of the opinion that female employees shouldn’t try to emulate male behaviour, but rather encourage the workforce overall to recognise the value of female workplace behaviour.”

There’s a brilliant quote on the International Women’s Day website from Gloria Steinem, the women’s liberation spokesperson, who said, “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights”. I think that pretty much sums the issue up for us.

REO UK wishes all of its female staff, customers and suppliers a sunny (and productive) March 8!


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