20 Feb 2024

Report highlights empowering women in STEM industries is critical to driving net zero

Energy

MSP, a global leader in springs and stampings manufacturing, is taking a bold stance on the role of women in STEM in achieving the goal of net zero by 2050.

In MSP’s new White Paper: ‘Women in Manufacturing: State of the Industry 2023’, the manufacturer has analysed recent data and firmly concluded that empowering women in STEM industries will be critical to driving the change needed to combat climate change and achieve a sustainable future.

Data from the White Paper revealed that in 2021, less than 1% of hiring involved green jobs, with projections indicating that demand for green skills will far outstrip supply in the next five years – creating an urgent need to act on green job opportunities.

Andrew Durdey, Sales & Marketing Director at MSP, said: “At MSP, we have had a long-standing commitment to sustainability and innovation and we have been working hard to encourage more sustainable practices across the manufacturing industry over the years.”

“As a manufacturer, we have recognised the pivotal role we play in the transition to a low-carbon economy, and our new White Paper has underlined the important role that women’s voices and contributions will have in tackling the complex challenges this sustainable transition will have.”

As a traditionally male-dominated industry, MSP is warning that the corresponding green jobs that will be created from the global transition, and the associated demand for knowledge and green skills, will have the potential to perpetuate further gender imbalance and create missed opportunities for women in work.

Analysis from MSP’s White Paper has already indicated a large gender divide within the visibility of green job opportunities, with recent data finding 47% of women are unsure of how to acquire green skills compared to 33% of men, while 44% of women do not understand what green skills employers need compared to 38% of men.

Durdey continued: “Without critical and effective action, women in the industry will be significantly less prepared to act upon rising green opportunities, and this will only serve to widen existing gender disparities in the labour market.

“It will also result in the manufacturing sector wasting the opportunity to enact a gender-inclusive transition to net zero for a sustainable, inclusive, and innovative future.”

Recognising the lack of sustainability as a serious issue, the manufacturer has committed to procuring electricity only through 100% renewable sources and, in 2022, MSP invested in their MSBees programme by welcoming a hive of bees into the head office in Worcestershire.

MSP is also setting an example for the manufacturing industry by providing green upskilling initiatives for all team members, including Carbon Literacy Training, in alignment with their culture of continual improvement and inclusion.

Andrew commented: “Providing access to training for all team members can help to ease the transition towards a greener future, as well as motivate and involve all employees so that they can improve their own understanding and ability to act upon future green opportunities.”

With more work needing to be done across the manufacturing sector to prepare for the advance of green jobs, MSP is advising companies to offer education and re-skilling opportunities, invest in apprenticeship and training initiatives, and promote clear signposting and visibility of available and upcoming jobs.

Durdey advised: “The transition to net zero represents a significant opportunity for our industry to redesign processes and the labour market, optimise flexible working opportunities, remove existing barriers, and eliminate biases towards women.”