Women in 3D Printing this week published the latest edition of its Diversity for Additive Manufacturing report, a special volume which not only focuses on gender diversity in our industry but also on the inclusion of minorities. The newly released report reckons with the issue of diversity and systemic racism, a long running and deeply embedded problem in our world, which has been in particular focus this year due to the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement. Importantly, the report positions AM within this unequal dynamic, aiming to promote diversity and inclusion in the sector as well as to highlight existing initiatives that support them.
The DfAM Report 2020 was authored by Kety Sindze, the managing director at 3D ADEPT, and has contributions from Erika Jefferson, President and Founder of Black Women in Science & Engineering (BWISE), an organization that supports under-represented women in STEM through networking, mentoring and career development. Sarah Goehrke and Nora Touré, who launched the DfAM report series in 2018, were also part of the report’s publication.
“At different levels, and in different sectors, activists, organizations, policy makers, celebrities and companies are standing against all kinds of discrimination,” the report reads. “Words and means may vary from one place to another, from one language to another, but ultimately the battle remains the same. This battle is even more important for the additive manufacturing (AM) industry, as the tech industry in general already strives to promote gender equality. That’s why we will address the diversity and inclusion (D&I) issue with two questions in mind: how are D&I portrayed in the industry? And more importantly, what are AM companies doing about that?”
The insightful publication is based on two surveys conducted by Women in 3D Printing. The first was devised for recruitment companies and set out to understand whether the lack of minority groups’ representation in AM was due to an absence of people or a limited number of candidates. The second survey asked AM companies about actionable initiatives being taken to enable inclusion. The report also includes findings gathered from interviews with industry representatives and women in the AM field. It should be noted that the report is centered on North America and Europe, where the majority of respondents are based.
I strongly encourage everyone in AM to download and read the report in full (it is free to access) to gain valuable insights into what is being done to promote diversity and inclusion today and what steps can be taken to improve them in the additive world. To the Women in 3D Printing team, thank you for doing the inspiring work you do.