Although women represent almost half of the labour force in the United Kingdom, they account for only 26% of all workers in the manufacturing sector. Gender norms and stereotypes still segregate women and men into different occupations and economic activities. Women are also underrepresented in leadership positions and this lack of diversity influences decision making and firm performance.
Digital technologies have the potential to contribute to narrowing gender inequalities but gender norms often hinder women from taking full advantage of these technologies. Women are less likely to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; they are also less likely to own a business; and their start-ups receive less funding. The exclusion of women in the design and deployment of digital technologies also risks deepening gender gaps and reinforcing gender norms.
To raise awareness of gender inequalities in digital manufacturing, a discussion panel and networking reception, funded by InterAct, will take place on Wednesday 16th November during Digital Manufacturing Week 2022.