Report reveals women still have a way to go in manufacturing

On 13 May EEF launched their second annual FTSE 100 – Women in Manufacturing report. Lorely Burt MP opened the event at an EEF venue in central London.

Senior executives from the industry, policy makers and apprenticeships turned out to support the launch and listen to speakers, EEF CEO Terry Scuoler, MBDA apprentice Danielle Calvert and UK head of manufacturing at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, Dave Atkinson.

The report shows women now account for 21% of directorships in FTSE 100 manufacturing companies, over double the amount recorded in 2011 (12.5%).

More than two thirds of manufacturers are at, or above the 25% Davies target for female board representation and all companies included in the report have at least one woman on the board.

Terry Scuoler, CEO of EEF, said: “But our job is far from done. Women continue to be under-represented at most levels, including apprenticeship and graduate-entry level.

“The female role models in the report are from SMEs, these women advocate increasing gender diversity through encouragement and development. They do not agree with quotas of a forced solution.

“There needs to be more interaction between schools and companies. STEM subjects need to be taught with passion and with particular effort to encourage young women.”

Jenny Willot MP referred to women’s professional progression as an “ice-ceiling” that is “steadily thawing” making promotion in the sector more available. She added: “Their accounts emphasis self-help, and above all self-confidence, as decisive factors and seem to mirror the Governments backing for a voluntary business approach to removing unnecessary barriers.”

Closing remarks came from Lorely Burt MP who said: “There’s still a long way to go to tap into that talent pool by 2020.”