Just Like Being There: SMTAi 2017 & Women in Technology

A landmark McKinsey Global Institute report stated that $12 trillion could be added to global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2025 if the gender gap is narrowed. And while globally, women represent 50% of the world's working-age population, they generate only 37% of GDP, occupy only 22% of ministerial and parliamentary roles, and just 25% of management positions. Given the publicity the topic of gender diversity has had over recent years, it is surprising to see the needle not shifting more dramatically.

It is hard to argue with the reality that diverse teams perform better, particularly when creativity is needed. If consumer electronics are used by men and women in similar volumes, the people involved in the design and manufacturer and responsible for the success of these products should more equally distributed across the sexes. Embracing the differences between ages, races, backgrounds, and genders can lead to the creation of truly dynamic teams and work environments.

[Women in Tech: Profiles in Persistence.]

At SMTAi in Chicago last month a full day was given over to the topic of ‘Women in Manufacturing.’ The schedule offered presentations, debates, and the opportunity to explore how women had achieved success in a male dominated environment. Having watched various debates on the topic, I wanted to talk to those on the vanguard, who were not only championing women in our industry, but were providing support as mentors and sponsors.

As major OEMs, Intel and IBM have strong gender diversity programs in place and it was wonderful to an experienced group join me: Priyanka Dobriyal, an engineer at Intel; Marie Cole, engineer, supplier technical management at IBM; and MB Allen, project manager at KIC. In this panel, we explored some of the positive developments for women in technology and talked about what can be done to improve things further.

This panel was filmed on location in the SCOOPstudio, which was sponsored by Fuji America, KIC, Jabil, Mentor, Radius Innovation, and the Smart Factory Awards.

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