Making progress with women in fluid power
Last May, it felt like we broke records when we had more than 20 women attend our Women in Fluid Power panel discussion at our Fluid Power Technology Conference. And later that year, our sister publication created its inaugural Women in Engineering issue, where we featured amazing women engineers at the companies that design and make the machines of today and tomorrow.
This year, four of the 12 recipients of the NFPA Education and Technology Foundation scholarships were young women. In 2018, only 2 of 13 were women. Doubling that number in a year is a significant achievement in and of itself.
That is why we decided we wanted to commit to covering this more often, as we encourage young people, particularly young girls, to consider a career in engineering and technology, and specifically, fluid power. With that goal in mind, I am excited to announce that Fluid Power World will be launching a new podcast series next month, Women in Fluid Power. Here, I’ll speak with young and up-andcoming women in the industry, as well as industry veterans, about what brought them into fluid power manufacturing, engineering, distribution, education, and more. And hopefully, these women will inspire young girls to pursue engineering and industrial opportunities, and even better, fluid power jobs in the end.
The women we will feature will run the gamut from veteran engineers to recent graduates into the field, women in distribution to company owners, and students to their professors. We will begin with some of the original women from our panel and expand from there. Caryes Allan, incoming chair of the Canadian Fluid Power Association and the first woman to lead the association, will discuss her role as VP at Higginson Equipment in Canada. We’ll also chat with Céline Cabana, who was among the panelists last May and her new colleague Ashley Busquets, both of FDGroups America. We’ll learn how Busquets’ mentor, Dr. Monika Ivantysynova, who led the MAHA Fluid Power Research Center at Purdue University, encouraged her to stick with fluid power as a career. And Rachel Schmidt, of Elwood Corp., will join us to share her thoughts on leading the way in heavily male-dominated industries like steel, aluminum and forging.
We’d like to hear from you, too, on women you think should be featured in this bi-weekly podcast series. Whether they’ve run your operations or designed your latest valve, let’s give them a shout-out. Feel free to email me to introduce me to the women in fluid power in your lives.
Mary C. Gannon
On Twitter @DW_marygannon