It has been said that STEM (Science Tech, Engineering and Math) jobs and careers are giving women 30% more income than the usual clerical jobs set aside for women. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence or AI, Robotics and other technological advanecements, jobs are reformatting and brute strength needed (for example in auto sales service) is just 10% of the job specification. That’s according to Paul Winston W. King of CATS, Motors, Inc. a dealer of the most sought- after automobile, the Mercedes Benz.
Further, according to Joey Turano of Hyundai Auto Resources Inc (HARI), they may be needing hundreds of women for jobs in their assembly and car manufacturing program. “Women are more detail-oriented, and they make good technical inspectors,” just one of the more technical jobs in the automotive industry.
Centro Manufacturing needs CAD (Computer Aided Design) operators as well as process engineers in its production line. And now their workforce is about 10% women already.
These industry leaders were asked to participate in a TESDA Women’s Center (TWC)- sponsored Stakeholders Forum for Non-Traditional Trades- Automotive sector. TESDA would like to ask stakeholders what jobs are open for women, besides being sexy models in a car show as stated by a TESDA Director. After that honest remark, the men (and women) in the audience helped us define what careers can be created for women because of their innate talent for details, attention to order and their ability to spot minute details for repair and correction.
“Women are really more detail –oriented” echoes another executive. TESDA Deputy Director General Rossana Urdaneta presented the study on male and female competencies which are just about the same.
“The profile of the customer is changing, “declares Winston King. “We have to fit out customer lounges for our customers, when it used to be that only drivers or chauffeurs went to the “casa” for after sales service, and some of them are women drivers and owners, too, “ he continues. The woman has arrived. And women owners and drivers like to talk to women receptionists and service personnel, too.” I personally like talking to women staff who can talk technical” says another participant.
There you are. These male champions understand that women must be given better positions, career paths and STEM- related jobs rather than posing in a sexy bikini at a motorshow.
For TESDA Women’s Center(TWC), we may be starting TRAINING THE TRAINOR courses with Hyundai and TWC will also design courses to now address the new breed of vehicles rolling out of the manufacturing plants. These courses will be able to address the lack of women employees so much in demand in the automotive sector. And these jobs will be in demand for the years to come as we have a manufacturing resurgence with the advent of the new PUV models, as mentioned by Joseph Bautista of Isuzu Philippines Corporation (IPC).
This forum was such an eye opener for many of the stakeholders who are looking for the women to fill the positions in their companies. They have had to approach schools and universities to recruit employees. With TESDA Women’s Center leading the upgrading of courses in these fields, it will not be long before more women are able to get the additional income in STEM jobs. Some of these jobs titles are: Paint sprayers, Sealant applicators, Parts sorters, Forklift operators, Line feeders and Pre-delivery inspectors (PDI).
How about your industry? What important roles do women play? The next forum will tackle another male-dominated industry: warehouse and logistics. We hope to also consult industry experts so women can have a share of these non-traditional jobs that also, hopefully, pay better.
As with any new endeavor or management policy, we need the C-Suite to agree that women can be good candidates and that recruitment for automotive industries and other STEM jobs will be gender-blind or gender-balanced.
Diversity is another good outcome of a move like this. And profit is a partner of diversity.
Who will say no to these suggestions if profitability is an outcome? Don’t you think it is high time women were involved in the automotive sector?
(The article reflects the personal opinion of the author and does not reflect the official stand of the Management Association of the Philippines or the MAP)
CHIT U. JUAN is a member of the MAP Inclusive Growth Committee and the President
of the Philippine Coffee Board Inc.