Nora Toure is a force in 3D printing, and she wants to help other women succeed as well.
She’s created a group called “Women In 3D Printing”, which features and supports exactly that. The group also provides a platform for women (and men) in 3D printing roles to network, share ideas and help each other succeed.
We spoke with Toure, a Sales Manager at 3D print service Sculpteo, and asked about the project.
Fabbaloo: What exactly is “Women In 3D Printing”? Is it a club? A blog?
Toure: Women in 3D Printing is overall a group of people interested in 3D Printing. Members are women and men who are searching solutions together on how we can have more women involved with 3D Printing.
We all share the belief that having more female-leaders/-makers/-technologists involved in our industry is a necessity.
Fabbaloo: Why did you feel there was a need to create such a venture?
Toure: Women in 3DP is about
a. 3D Printing
c. Women in business
I have been in the 3DP industry for 5 years, working both in Europe and in the US. I see networking groups that are very specific to some areas: 3D scanning, 3D modeling, makers, business… but not a lot of groups are “opened” to everyone, no matter what your expertise is. Most of the projects I am working on at Sculpteo require to know about 3DP technologies, but also about modeling / scanning, and to know about business and marketing reality of 3DP. The WI3DP group can act like a amazing resource when it comes to exchange and look for new ideas.
This is explaining a. and b. I guess.
Regarding c., the focus on women, it came slowly but surely. As I said, I have been in this business for 5 years, and even though it still happens sometime for me to be the only women in a meeting room or at a conference, I see more and more women involved with the industry.
I thought it would be nice to connect with other women and to share their perspective on our industry.
Fabbaloo: What is the goal of WI3DP? What are you trying to achieve?
Toure: The goal of WI3DP is to inspire women who are undecided regarding 3DP, but also regarding “just” technology. I believe 3DP to be a great “entry point” for anyone interested in technology but not knowing how to start, or thinking it is “not for them”.
So, if WI3DP can help those undecided women, and inspire them by reading about female leaders and makers of our industry, that would mean WI3DP’s goal is achieved!
Fabbaloo: How big is the group now? Is it growing?
Toure: There are about 350 followers as for today. It is growing, yes.
Fabbaloo: Has WI3DP had an effect? Has the number of women involved in the industry increased?
Toure: It might be too early for me to say. The group is growing, and all the members I have been talking to have amazing ideas to go even further! So, hopefully we’ll be able to have a positive impact at the end of the day!
Fabbaloo: Tell us your hopes for WI3DP? Where are you taking it in the future?
Toure: I would like for this group to go bigger internationally. I believe meeting other people is to key to success for networking. We had a few meetups in the Bay Area, but having them in other areas as well would be ideal. I’d love to feature more women from around the world as well!
Fabbaloo: How can our readers help you?
Toure: Well, I am looking for contributors on the blog, either to help with the interviews or even create new categories that could inspire women.
And, as I mentioned, having more events is also a big focus here. As much I’d love to travel the world, it would probably be more efficient to have local relays for the events!
I am also welcoming any ideas from your readers regarding the route they would like this group to take.
We are strongly supportive of Toure’s initiative and want to help, too. Going forward, expect to see stories from Women in 3D Printing appear on Fabbaloo. We also ask readers interested in this network to join them.