3D Printing Works to #BalanceforBetter This International Women’s Day

By on March 8th, 2019 in community

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 The women of Formlabs in #BalanceforBetter pose for International Women’s Day 2019 [Image: Formlabs]
The women of Formlabs in #BalanceforBetter pose for International Women’s Day 2019 [Image: Formlabs]

The theme of International Women’s Day 2019 is #BalanceforBetter and the 3D printing community is embracing inclusion and diversity.

It’s no secret that here at Fabbaloo we celebrate a diverse 3D printing industry; indeed, that’s one of the main reasons I was thrilled to join this team just last year.

We have a partnership with Women in 3D Printing, and for each of us personally it goes deeper than a media relationship. Our VP of Business Development, Marney, is the local ambassador for Winnipeg, hosting monthly meetups for Women in 3D Printing. I’m on the Board of Directors at Wi3DP and author the semiannual Diversity for Additive Manufacturing report (the third edition of which was just released today). Kerry, our founder and fearless leader, has always steered Fabbaloo in a positive direction, encouraging and promoting nonprofits and efforts in 3D printing to present not just a better industry, but a better world.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an industry to raise an idea.

We’re not just celebrating women today, but an increasingly inclusive workforce.

The 3D printing industry still has a problem with gender parity; at the latest estimate from Alexander Daniels Global, the worldwide full-industry split shows 11% women working in additive manufacturing as compared to 89% men. Studies have shown again and again that a more diverse workforce isn’t just a good look, but is good business.

Yes, there are problems in the numbers; yes, the reasons are deep-rooted in society and the educational system and available resources and representation. Rather than focus on the problems, though, the 3D printing industry as a whole is looking toward the solutions, and beyond them to the achievements we can all reach as a greater whole.

So today is a celebration not of the few roses among the thorns, as it were, but of the growing number of accomplishments from diverse teams.

Several companies have made very public their diversity initiatives. Many larger entities have full teams dedicated to supporting, mentoring, and networking women in their workforces.

These fostering environments draw employees who are, after all, people: providing a positive work environment will both attract and help to retain talent. To be somewhere people want to work, a company needs to provide the right incentives. As Alexander Daniels Global points out, those incentives do include salary, but it’s not just the money.

It’s so heartening today to go on Twitter and see the support from companies celebrating their teams for International Women’s Day.

A small selection:

And so, so many more!

For those looking to celebrate International Women’s Day, dozens of events are being hosted at Wi3DP chapters around the world.

Of course the most important part of all of this is that the celebration of diversity goes beyond a single day, and beyond a single month (March is Women’s History Month). The diversity initiatives in place, as well as ongoing moves toward more inclusive workplaces, continue every day.

It’s kind of like a birthday: one special day to recognize someone who we appreciate every day, just this time there’s cake (or dedicated content).

Happy International Women’s Day to this vibrant, inspiring community!

By Sarah Goehrke

Sarah Goehrke is a Special Correspondent for Fabbaloo, via a partnership with Additive Integrity LLC. Focused on the 3D printing industry since 2014, she strives to bring grounded and on-the-ground insights to the 3D printing industry. Sarah served as Fabbaloo's Managing Editor from 2018-2021 and remains active in the industry through Women in 3D Printing and other work.