On International Women’s Day we want to celebrate some of the amazing women working at Hexagon. Unfortunately the world of smart manufacturing is still heavily male-dominated. But we’re proud to say we have incredible female leaders driving our company forward and helping us to shape the future.
Sixth Sense is a platform designed to bring the next generation of innovators to the table and we are constantly striving to create a gender balance within our cohort. By spotlighting our strong female role models, we hope to see a greater level of diversity as the industry progresses.
So let’s hear from four of our colleagues about who inspired them, why it is so crucial to find that balance and how we might do it.
- Name a woman in your industry who inspires you?
Katherine: “Agata Fischer, who is VP of building solutions and president of building field solutions. I was able to mentor and be part of her development for over a decade now.”
Marion: “Ellen MacArthur (even if not directly linked to the manufacturing industry). With her foundation, she promotes the transition to a circular economy which will become key for our manufacturing transformation. I am extremely inspired by her talks as I see direct applications of these concepts for Hexagon. I also admire her for her sense of purpose, being more a change maker than a businesswoman. Finally, I love the idea that you can diversify yourself in multiple career paths, in multiple versions of yourself, from being an athlete, an activist and a leader in the same lifetime.”
Sarah: “Ann Lewnes – recently retired (after 16 years) EVP & CMO at Adobe. Under Ann’s leadership, Adobe pivoted to SasS and established an insight-driven culture.”
Maria: “My Hexagon colleague Kalyn Sims, the CTO of Hexagon’s Safety, Infrastructure & Geospatial division is a great inspiration to all in STEM. Kalyn founded the tech company Denali Solutions, a leader in records management systems, which Hexagon acquired in 2011. Kalyn has a strong and inspiring story as an entrepreneur and mother, and she is someone who has inspired me since I joined Hexagon.”
- What do you think would encourage more women to get into smart manufacturing or other areas Hexagon covers?
Katherine: “Knowing the women that are here and what we are doing – creating more awareness on how Hexagon is an inspiring and inclusive company.”
Marion: “My first thoughts would be around education and representation. Encouraging girls to study STEM subjects in school to start developing an interest in technology. If you motivate them at a young age and propose these options in a more proactive way, women could at least have these career paths as options. I feel that today a lot of women are not even aware of these possibilities.
“Secondly promote role models in tech or manufacturing to show what is possible. As it is very hard to work in a male dominated environment, it would help to see more representations of women in the industry. Being able to find female mentors and female leaders to admire is so important to give ourselves the confidence to achieve the same. It is hard to feel alone… so seeing more successful women in Hexagon would help to feel represented and supported. It would just help to realise what we can become in the company. To believe this is possible.”
Sarah: “Pay equality, clear career trajectory and family-focused culture and benefits.”
Maria: “I’m happy that more women today are choosing an education in STEM. Encouragement and interactions with STEM early on in life will further increase the gender balance. But maybe what happens after graduation is more important. The industry and corporates have a huge responsibility to create inclusive cultures and work environments so that women want to work and stay in this industry.”
- Why is it important to increase the gender balance in technology?
Katherine: “Any diversity is fruitful and delivers better and more innovative results in Technology and Business. Encouraging a more balanced gender mix for sure enables a great foundation to build upon.”
Marion: “I guess that gender balance is as important in technology as everywhere else. Technology just seems to be a field with strong unconscious bias, keeping women out of the technical positions (as if engineers were almost automatically males). So, in that case, the urgency for more gender equality is even higher, as we are starting from a very unbalanced situation.
“In addition to creating a more equitable society, I think that gender balance can also have a strong impact on business, product development and innovation. I would argue that we should think beyond gender here and speak about a more diverse workforce in general. In fact, having a wider range of experiences, personalities, competences will bring more ideas and solutions to the table.
“Also, as we create products and services for a very diverse society, it seems logical to ensure we represent and understand all types of customers to serve them in the most efficient way. With diverse teams, we are more likely to become more inclusive, meet more customers’ expectations and as a consequence, increase customer satisfaction with better user experiences.”
Sarah: “Gender balance allows for diversity of thought and experience, ensuring you take your whole audience into consideration; ultimately helping fuel creativity, innovation and growth.”
Maria: “The future world will be shaped by technology. Of course, women should be a part of shaping this world in the same way men do. Gender balance in tech it’s also an important factor in closing the gender pay gap.