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Mapping The Future

STEM jobs–new area for women

05:02 AM June 10, 2019

It has been said that science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jobs and careers are giving women 30 percent more income than the usual clerical jobs set aside for them. With the advent of artificial intelligence, or AI, robotics and other technological advancements, jobs are reformatting and brute strength (for example in auto sales service) is just 10 percent of the job specification, thus opening up more opportunities for women. That’s according to Paul Winston King of CATS Motors Inc., a dealer of the most sought-after automobile, the Mercedes Benz.

Further, according to Joey Turano of Hyundai Auto Resources Inc., they may be needing hundreds of women for jobs in their assembly and car manufacturing program. “Women are more detail-oriented, and they make good technical inspectors,” he said.

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Centro Manufacturing, meanwhile, needs computer-aided design operators as well as process engineers in its production line. And now, women already account for 10 percent of their workforce.

These industry leaders were asked to participate in a Tesda Women’s Center (TWC)-sponsored stakeholders forum for nontraditional trades-automotive sector. The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) asked stakeholders what jobs were open for women, besides being sexy models in a car show as stated by a Tesda director. After that honest remark, the men (and women) in the audience helped us define what careers can be created for women because of their innate talent for details, attention to order and their ability to spot minute details for repair and correction.

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“Women are really more detail-oriented” echoed another executive. Tesda Deputy Director General Rossana Urdaneta presented a study on male and female competencies, which are just about the same.

“The profile of the customer is changing,” declared Winston King. “We have to fit out customer lounges for our customers, when it used to be that only drivers or chauffeurs went to the ‘casa’ for after sales service, and some of them are women drivers and owners, too,” he continued. “The woman has arrived. And women owners and drivers like to talk to women receptionists and service personnel, too.”

“I personally like talking to women staff who can talk technical,” says another participant.

There you go. These male champions understand that women must be given better positions, career paths and STEM-related jobs rather than posing in a sexy bikini at a motorshow.

For TWC, we may start Training the Trainor courses with Hyundai and TWC will also design courses to now address the new breed of vehicles rolling out of the manufacturing plants. These courses will
be able to address the lack of women employees who are so much in demand in the automotive sector. And these jobs will be in demand for the years to come as we have a manufacturing resurgence with the advent of the new public utility vehicle models, as mentioned by Joseph Bautista of Isuzu Philippines Corp.

This forum was such an eye-opener for many of the stakeholders who are looking for the women to fill the positions in their companies. They have had to approach schools and universities to recruit employees. With TWC leading the upgrading of courses in these fields, it will not be long before more women are able to get the additional income in STEM jobs. Some of these jobs titles are: paint sprayers, sealant applicators, parts sorters, forklift operators, line feeders and predelivery inspectors.

How about your industry? What important roles do women play? The next forum will tackle another male-dominated industry: warehouse and logistics. We hope to also consult industry experts so women can have a share of these nontraditional jobs that also, hopefully, pay better.

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As with any new endeavor or management policy, we need the C-Suite to agree that women can be good candidates and that recruitment for automotive industries and other STEM jobs will be gender-blind or gender-balanced.

Diversity is another good outcome of a move like this. And profit is a partner of diversity.

Who will say no to these suggestions if profitability is an outcome? Don’t you think it is high time women were involved in the automotive sector?

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