How about that? Women in 3D Printing has reached their fifth anniversary.
The non-profit organization was started, yes, five years ago by Nora Toure, who at the time was working at Sculpteo. Toure wanted to promote the presence of women in the industry, which at the time – and still to this day – has low participation rate.
Started in December 2014 as a simple online blog, Toure has since built up the concept into a worldwide movement. Today we see chapters in over 60 international locations, each locally promoting the technology to women and others. “Wi3DP” has held dozens of events and panels and in locations everywhere, highlighting the technology to anyone interested.
They’ve also posted over 250 interviews with women involved in 3D printing, many of which we re-publish in part on Fabbaloo. These are incredibly important because they demonstrate to readers that it is indeed possible to have a successful career in the ever-changing world of 3D printing.
I’ve personally witnessed this effect at local Wi3DP meetups where teenage girls are wide-eyed when listening to an advanced metallurgist describe their work. I don’t know if these teenagers will become metallurgists or otherwise be involved in 3D printing in the future, but I do know they now view such careers as a viable option.
Still, it’s an uphill battle for Toure. Our statistics indicate a 14% female readership, which somewhat reflects the state of the industry at the moment. Wi3DP has developed their own information in their Diversity for Additive Manufacturing Report series, but formalized data is limited.
One of my personal axioms is that “a good idea is a good idea, no matter where it comes from”, and you tend to receive more and different ideas when you have a diverse team. Diversity is a good thing.
While Wi3DP’s work is still at the beginning with a long way to go, it will surely provide a great benefit to the industry as a whole.
Congratulations to Nora and team; keep going forward!