Production and Diversity –

According to this year’s “Women in Industry” study by engineering and manufacturing company HRK, 34% of companies in the manufacturing sector have reported increased employment of women in specialized positions in science and technology. The results go hand in hand with the prevailing trend in business giving equal opportunities to women and men in line with the diversity policy. Polish industry is opening up to ladies, but it is happening gradually. Dominika Frydlewicz, Cedo’s Director of Human Resources, talks about why a change of workplace is needed.

women in industry

In Polish production companies, you can often meet an operator, leader or quality specialist, but this is not a norm. A survey by HRK showed that up to 71% of women working in the industrial sector work in the following departments: administration, finance, accounting, human resources or customer service. Production, assembly and quality control are still chosen by fewer women.

More and more women are choosing technical universities or pursuing professions that were, in public opinion, reserved for men only. Modern industry needs knowledge and skills, it has no gender. However, over the years of entrenching stereotypes, it was necessary to enact women into positions previously known as “male”. Many companies conduct such activities abroad – there are special recruitment campaigns, feminists appear in job advertisements – and within the organization – through in-house training and programs that support competency development. At Cedo, we’ve been open to hiring women from the start – their team participation is 50%, average tenure of 5.8 years – says Dominika Frydlewicz.

Does the industry need women?

Global competition, new customer expectations, and digitalization everywhere are forcing a change in production management. The skillful blending of automation with the right employee competencies is a challenge for large manufacturing companies. Today, the competencies of employees, including women, are more important than before.

An innovative approach to both technological development and the human factor pays off in business. A well-managed organization focuses on qualified and diverse employees and the development of competencies – digital, technical and social – and cognitive skills. At Cedo, we give equal opportunities to all employees, overcoming limited stereotypes about social roles – skills and knowledge are important, but also the desire to acquire them. That’s why we want to support women in their professional development based on the tools created: a customized training program, a competency matrix, individual development plans or internal recruitment – says Cedo’s Director of Human Resources and adds: It is worth noting that women can benefit from this call as an organization. We have another task to accomplish – a real support in combining professional work with the duties that await us after work. At Cedo, we support co-parenting and foster partnership in personal life. We create conditions in which parents can take equal leave and other forms of care. We also include returning to work from paternity leave.

Transformation in the workplace

Speaking of the openness to hiring women in technical teams, one cannot ignore the issue of physical strength, which in some jobs is just as important as the skills you possess. In order to eliminate gender disparities, it is necessary to introduce solutions that reduce their value.

– Operator, Quality Controller, Production Leader and Warehouse Operator are also positions occupied by women in Cedo structures. Over the years, their share has visibly increased, which is what we are very proud of as an organization. This is certainly the impact of women’s greater openness to development and the consequences of activities such as campaigns that promote internal employment or encourage participation in training and programs that improve qualifications, but not only. We understand the importance of ergonomics in the workplace. This is why we offer technical solutions that simultaneously improve work comfort and reduce the importance of physical strength – for example, we facilitate the transportation and lifting of products using manipulators, electric carts or an automatic unloading station – says Dominica Frydlewicz of Cedo and summarizes: Workplaces are essential, especially in the current situation of increasing women’s economic activity. Today we are trying to speed up some activities more than before to make work in the production area accessible to everyone.

A step towards development

Opening the industry to women is a step not only towards equal professional development, but also building different organizations that are supported by individuals. Although it is a long-term process and requires a lot of work on the part of the industrial sector, the transformation has already begun and is paying off.

Source: Cedo Sp. Zoo

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Group: Labor law, working time, salaries 2022

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