How can we boost workplace diversity in industry?

Posted on 28 Jul 2016 by The Manufacturer

Workplace diversity can help boost employee loyalty and job satisfaction. Kate Hulley, manufacturing owner of female-led packaging business, Boxed Up explains what the company’s doing to attract more females to the industry.

Workplace Diversity - Kate Hulley, manufacturing owner, Boxed Up.
Kate Hulley, manufacturing owner, Boxed Up.

With National Women in Engineering Day last month (June 23) I’ve been reflecting on how the business can attract more women to the fabulously diverse, challenging world of engineering.

As we all know, the UK needs to be doing more to generate interest in STEM subjects at a young age to help combat the gender gap. The Women in Engineering Society (WES) reported in 2015 that the annual shortfall of engineering skills was listed at 55,000.

The significant imbalance within the industry could be overturned if more employers opened their doors to women. The number of UK-based female graduates progressing on to a career in engineering stands at 15.8%.

So what action has Boxed Up taken? More than 40% of our workforce is female, and that number continues to grow. We consider our influence to start from the job advertisement and continue through to the interview process.

All of Boxed Up’s corrugated cardbord boxes are manufactured within its Wigan factory.
All of Boxed Up’s corrugated cardbord boxes are manufactured within its Wigan factory.

Recruitment decisions are made based on individual skills and expertise, as well as passion for hard work.

We don’t hire based on who is stereotypically considered the “right man for the job”.

We also offer female friendly benefits, such as flexible working hours, progression opportunities and have regular target meetings to monitor employee job satisfaction.

Employee case study:

Rachel Raven – ecommerce manager, Boxed Up

“I found my way into manufacturing like many I have met; because I have a real creative drive

Workplace Diversity - Rachel Raven, ecommerce manager, Boxed Up.
Rachel Raven, ecommerce manager, Boxed Up.

I graduated from Scarborough University back in 2010 with a degree in Costume Production. My interest in customer relations and having a forward-thinking attitude led me to apply for several different positions upon entering the job market.

This work experience helped me to make important, life changing decisions about my future. For example, as a recent graduate I changed my mind from wanting to be a design engineer to pursuing a career in management.

I joined Boxed Up in 2015 and the nature of the business has allowed me to work in various departments, from production design to my recent promotion to a management position.

This is very rewarding and allows different, and often unexpected, skills to be developed. My role allows me to work as part of an incredibly supportive female-led team dedicated to business success.

I have always felt comfortable working in what is historically considered a male-dominated industry. It’s fast-paced and demanding at times, but the support and training available from the team has pushed me forwards.

I’m proud to be a part of a growing team of women engineers who prove that we have what it takes to make a difference.”

Rachel is a fantastic example of how the diversity and passion for female engineering is an asset to the company. We’re looking to seek out employees to join us in creating a much wider demographic of potential talent.

If you would like to find out more about how Boxed Up works to attract women to their business, visit our website for more information.