This week in New York City a group of women in manufacturing will gather at Innovation Enterprise's Women in Strategy Summit.
The speaker lineup includes representatives from PepsiCo, GE HealthCare, Lockheed Martin, Coca-Cola, Mondelez, and more. Women in Manufacturing, a non-profit network of females in the industry, will also be in attendance and is a sponsor of the event.
What does strategy have to do with manufacturing?
Basically everything. Strategists are a unique group of professionals with diverse backgrounds. And, as I learned at the Strategic Planning Innovation Summit, at the heart of every strategist is a problem solver. So, it's no surprise that many strategists understand processes and have a technical background in engineering, mathematics, programming, or manufacturing.
Why women...why not men?
It's proven that women solve problems differently than men. As noted in Dr. Louann Brizendine's book "The Female Brain" she states:
"In a German study, researchers conducted brain scans of men and women while they mentally rotated abstract, three-dimensional shapes. There were no performance differences between the men and women, but there were significant, sex-specific differences in the brain circuits they activated to complete the task. Women triggered brain pathways linked to visual identification and spent more time than men picturing the objects in their minds.
This fact merely meant that it took women longer to get to the same answer. It also showed that females perform all the cognitive functions males perform—they just do so by using different brain circuits."
The book also illustrates that in addition to problem solving, a woman's perspective is also unique from men. This perspective is sometimes referred to as 'woman's intuition', which includes remembering and feeling emotions, heightened senses, and the psychic-like ability to understand a situation before it happens. But somehow woman's intuition sounds soft to me. So, for all you techies, I like to think of woman's intuition as predictive analysis based on real-time sensory data.
Call it what you want, either way it will be an interesting event and an interesting turn of events in manufacturing as we see more women enter the industry. I would guess that as more women enter the field, the more their point of view will pivot the solutions that were originally born of the male brains which ruled most of the history of manufacturing. Is this a good thing? Voice your opinion.
P.S. If you are a woman, or know a woman, who has solved a professional or personal problem go to WomenFix.com to tell the story.