Female Engineers at Ford
For Women’s History Month, Ford interviewed a few of the women behind some of the biggest engineering advancements in modern history.
When we think about auto manufacturing, so many of us still think back to the old black and white images of long rows of men in coveralls, manning their stations. Those were the images in our history books, so they are sort of ingrained in our minds, but some of those images are over 100 years old. A lot has happened over the past century. There were a couple World Wars, robots and automated assembly were developed, and women entered the workforce. Not necessarily in that order. Today, about 22 percent of Ford’s United States workforce is female, and globally about 26 percent of Ford’s workforce is female. However, female engineers working in the automotive industry make up only 5% of the total automotive engineering division worldwide. It’s Women’s History Month, and Ford sat down with a few of the Female Engineers at Ford to talk about what it’s like to be a woman in a male dominated field. Take a look!
Elizabeth Baron is Ford’s Virtual Reality and Advanced Visualization Technical Specialist, and if you didn’t catch it, she had some pretty solid advice for any young women looking to enter the engineering field, which is predominantly made up of men.
“It’s OK to be feminine, and to be who you are. You don’t have to act like a man to be in a male-dominated field and relate to men.”
It will be fascinating to see just how much our industry will change over the coming years. Currently Ford has two women sitting on their Board of Directors, however that number is undoubtedly set to increase over the coming years. Historically, men were the final decision makers when it came to big purchases like cars and homes. But that is simply not the case anymore.
As the millennial generation takes over established businesses, and launches businesses of their own, it’s relevant to mention that this new generation of decision makers will be taking over national buying power from the baby boomers within the next decade. Some analysts predict this shift will happen even sooner. As it stands now, over 55% of vehicle purchasing decisions made by people 35 and younger are made by women, from personal vehicles to commercial vehicles. This is a massive shift from the way car and truck buying has been happening for the last few decades. And we welcome it with open arms.