Bringing in the Next Generation of Women into the Automotive Industry
Women continue to join the ranks of men in technical and executive roles in growing numbers across industries. These women bring new ideas and strengthen organizations. Young women currently, however, are choosing other industries over automotive. As the automotive industry continues to grow, we need to encourage girls in middle and high schools now. They will become interested and develop into future automotive leaders. How then can we interest the young girls of today to join the automotive sector tomorrow?
There are multiple ways we can inspire tomorrow’s youth, but in order to do so we need to get involved in our communities. Here are a few ways we can:
Expose girls to engines and design– If we want the next generation to be excited about the automotive manufacturing world, we need to do a better job of introducing them to it now.
- Go to science and technology classes in schools with hands-on presentations and projects
- Have family picnics at work location and bring your daughter to work days
- Become an active participant in school career days
Mentorships– It has been proven if a child has a person supporting them in a dream, they are more likely to achieve that dream. Mentors can partner with girls to support their STEM dreams starting in middle and high schools.
- Sponsor and volunteer with robotics teams, technology clubs, and science fairs
- Volunteer with organizations such as Girl Scouts and 4H and help with their STEM programs
- Contact locals schools. Schools are always looking for volunteers and industry partners to enhance their programs
Encouragement of teenage girls– Girls at an early age have a passion for STEM fields. Yet most middle and high school girls turn away from these fields. Keeping the drive and passion during these years is critical.
- Sponsor art contests that feature your product or industry
- Sponsor science fairs and technology contests
- Create summer and college scholarships
- Bring in interns
So now that you may have an idea or two of what can be done the next step is to put it into action. First, decide how you want to partner. Contact your local school and talk to the head of the science or technology departments, volunteer at your local community organization for teens, and set up corporate wide initiatives as a team project. What it comes down to is exposure and encouragement of girls now by getting the automotive industry involved in their lives. Educating our youth on what manufacturing is and how design, development, and production work will create interest.This interest will bring them into the automotive world.The future of manufacturing starts today in the dreams of young people. Ensuring that young women are proactively encouraged to be part of this future will yield benefits to the industry for years to come.