IWD 2024: Inspiring careers for women in STEM

Vinny Hoddinott
March 8, 2024
IWD 2024: Inspiring careers for women in STEM

This year's theme for International Women’s Day is to inspire inclusion.  Within the manufacturing industry, gender diversity lags other sectors: statistics from 2023 show that women only account for 26% of the manufacturing workforce. When you break this stat down further, only 9% are employed in operative roles.

However, with a skills shortage within the manufacturing industry, and a growing demand for products, how can we inspire women to take up careers within the STEM sector?  

In recent years the CAM market has experienced significant growth, and the industry needs to ensure that it improves the technology to meet market demands.  Automation solutions, robotics, and digital tools enable machine shops to streamline operations, optimise resource allocation, and enhance overall efficiency.

When we developed CAM Assist, customers experienced significantly reduced time for CAM-ing a part, thanks to toolpath automation - allowing experts to focus their efforts on where they can make the most difference, improving output across the board.

So how does CAM Assist support inclusion? Well, one problem for newcomers to CAM is that the industry is difficult to break into - apprenticeships take years, in a male-dominated sector.

We recently spoke with Melissa Ramos, owner and operator of M95 Machining (and rising social media star) about her experiences getting into CNC machining, and how it was hard to find anyone to even teach her. She believes CAM Assist will change the industry - “I hope it inspires more women to join the trades as it takes away the barriers that are there. If I can do it, anyone can”.

So if we remove the obstacles with solutions like CAM Assist, and enable people to learn and grow, then surely we can help manufacturing become more inclusive.

Diversity in inclusivity

Supporting diversity externally requires an inclusive approach at home, and at CloudNC, we are proud of the diverse team that we have. When I asked some of the women working within our teams “What inspired them to pursue a career in STEM,” this is what they told us:

“I studied Astrophysics and Computer Science, I always liked the idea of being able to implement anything that crosses my mind. I have always enjoyed the exactness of mathematics. But only when applied to a real-world problem do you understand the true meaning of an otherwise abstract equation.”

“I have always been inspired by what humans can do with maths. While choosing STEM was natural for me and I am incredibly lucky I ended up exactly where I want to be, I do wish I had better support navigating the vast landscape of possible STEM directions when making decisions on my education and career. If any young women considering their STEM path read this - if confused, ask plenty of questions and take your time to research and explore the different options.”

“Discovering my passion for manufacturing early in my career, I was drawn to CloudNC for its pioneering position in the industry, presenting an exciting opportunity to innovate. I pursued engineering at university, as it lent itself to my natural skillset that opened doors to software opportunities previously unexplored at school, I think a career in STEM provides compelling challenges and can be incredibly rewarding for women.”

So on International Women's Day, how are we inspiring inclusion at CloudNC? By working on driving diversity internally, resulting in the creation of complex solutions, that in turn - make manufacturing more inclusive and exciting for all!

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