What women want

Survey results show women want more from their peers

In November last year, the Everywoman network, which promotes female career progression, particularly in traditionally male dominated sectors, held its first Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Academy.

The event was attended by around 100 women at various stages in their careers and from businesses including Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, GE and GlaxoSmithKline to name a few.

You can read more about the event here bit.ly/EWMfgEngineering and can access an interview with keynote speaker Jenny Body, the first female president of the Royal Aeronautical Society, here bit.ly/Pathtodestruction.

But another outcome of the event was a survey of delegate views on the biggest challenges in their work and what they felt their employers could do to help them overcome those challenges.

The feedback showed that 48% of those questioned felt they faced great challenges in stepping into management roles, a finding which echoes the evidence of the Davies report of 2011, Women on Boards. This report highlighted the high levels of female attrition when reaching management roles, suggesting that more work needs to be done to revisit the business practices and cultures around those roles if more women are to realise their full professional potential.

The Everywoman survey also reflected that 30% of respondents felt employers could provide more training and development for female staff so that they would be more confident in applying for management positions 23% said they would like to see more female mentoring programmes.

Overwhelmingly however, it seems that, rather than relying on employers, women want to see more support from their own peer group, without necessarily needing a formal organisational mentoring scheme.

Seventy two per cent of attendees said they would like senior women in industry to make themselves more visible and to share their views and experiences in order to help debunk stereotypes about the manufacturing sector and give inspiration to the ambitions of others.