JCB to focus on encouraging more women to the engineering industry
JCB has made an announcement urging women to seriously consider a career in engineering. The manufacturing business has made the appeal in an attempt to attract new talent and improve the balance of male and female workforce numbers.
The announcement comes after recent gender pay figures were displayed by the Government showing a 14% hourly pay gap between men and women. The Staffordshire-based company believes this can be improved by focusing on promoting more women into higher level management positions.
The chief executive of JCB has suggested that there still remains a common misconception that the engineering industry is more favoured towards men, which he believes is far from the truth. JCB have empahsised that diversity is essential to the continued success of the business. The chief executive has made it clear that they intend to attract more women into the industry as well promote women into higher level positions within the business.
The chief executive acknowledges that the gender imbalance is an industry-wide challenge and will take time to improve. Starting at the beginning, changing the outlook of the industry and attracting more girls into engineering at an early age are essential changes that need to be made. JCB offers the JCB Academy, providing sponsorship opportunities at secondary schools, as well as its own Young Talent Programmes. JCB highlight that the program has had success with Daisy Coombes being recently voted as the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Apprentice of the Year.
When the JCB Academy first started operating, only 9% of the students were females. Last year, this figure had risen to 25%. JCB highlights its promotion of female-only open days and events at schools that are operated and managed by female staff as the impetus for this increase. The longer-term goal is now to achieve a 50/50 balance between men and women. The JCB apprenticeship scheme has experienced similar success with 18 women due to start with JCB this year, compared to only 3 in 2017.
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