The last article in the series The Voice of Women in Service, published on the occasion of International Women’s Day seeks to find some answers to the questions that were left open in the previous stories. This is also an appropriate time to learn more about the specific topic of women in service and the way they are climbing the ladder of a mostly male-dominated field.
Author Iva Danilovic | Copperberg
So far the process of keeping the balance between work and family was an exhausting challenge especially for the female managers who were traditionally more engaged at the labor at home. On top of that, working in the field service has been historically less appealing to women, and female managers in service had to be one step ahead to prove herself.
Yet, it is Industry 4.0 that could direct companies to find a way to narrow the industry gender gap. By attracting more female talents to join the field service jobs, the corporations can find new rising stars and attract a skilled workforce that could help them to become more competitive on the market. This is why we wanted to know more about the experiences of the women in service – Has their organization taken any specific initiatives to foster gender equality so far?
Judging by the answers we received it looks like the situation differs from one organization to another. There are some companies that have quite a systematic approach and actively promote equality on every level. Here are some of the positive testimonials:
- “I am very happy with my company and the opportunities for women. Two of our core values are integrity and respect (…) There are measures in my company for gender equality.” – Cristina Peña Andrés, Group Parts Manager, Alimak Service
- “Yes, Manitou puts attention on and makes actions for gender equality to make the balance.” – Duygu Seker, Global Vice President of Business Unite Spare Parts, Manitou Group
- “Zeppelin, following our key partner Caterpillar, promotes women’s conferences where we share the best practices on how to achieve success in “men’s world” – “Women in Leadership” inspiring women to contribute to gender diversity in management.” – Olga Litvinchuk, CRC Division Director, Zeppelin Ukraine
These feedbacks show that initiatives do encourage women to continue their jobs within the industry, and motivate them to invest the knowledge they have gained along the way into the company’s future.
However, despite the positive trends, there are other companies that haven’t started any specific initiative to start the transformational journey when it comes to closing the gender gap. So what can industrial companies do right now to become more inclusive? Here are some of the most popular solutions given by female managers in service:
- Flexible hours to balance private/professional life
- Child care near work
- Paternity leave
- Enforce quotas during the employment process (“or things will never change as people who need to make key decisions are always men”)
- Enforce policies that support inclusivity and work-life balance (for both men and women)
Creating a more inclusive culture takes time, but with cooperation from the leading companies, gender equality in upper-level management may be closer than ever: The global change in work division affects the manufacturing industry and the field service.
The course of transformation fosters the workforce reshaping process: Household work is becoming more automated, the traditionally men’s roles in the workforce are changing with the emergence of flexible jobs, the working patterns change, all of that allowing women to put their skills to use in the formal economy .