IOR-established Women in RACHP Network looks to determine and address current barriers towards opening up industry to female workers with a variety of backgrounds and skill-sets
The Women in RACHP Network has launched a survey intended to determine how the cooling sector can be made more attractive as a prospective career for women.
A major focus of the survey will be identifying areas where meaningful culture changes can be introduced within the RACHP working environment to address what the network describes as a “struggle” to bring women with a range of different skills and backgrounds to the sector.
The network, which is open to anyone working in the RACHP industry, was established by the Institute of Refrigeration (IOR) in 2016 to coincide with National Women in Engineering Day.
Among the key aims of its new survey is a drive to promote and expand the appeal to women of a wide number of technical, administrative and management roles from an industry that the network describes as being very much “male-oriented”.
A statement from the network said, “By focusing on equal pay, a clear path of progression and a healthy work-life balance, it is expected that the survey results will play an important part in the wider goal of promoting the role of women in a male-oriented industry as well as showcasing the amazing opportunities RACHP has to offer to the next generation of female leaders.”
The survey asks individuals working in the sector for their views on current work entitlements, alongside experiences around sick pay and maternity leave. Other questions consider broader benefits and the levels of flexibility that employees are given with regard to work hours.
Respondents are also asked questions on the present number of senior managements figures that are female in their companies, the representation of minorities in the organisation and current opportunities for career progression.
Astrid Prado, part of the Women in RACHP Network’s steering committee, said that women were estimated to represent 25 per cent of the manufacturing industry. She added that 12 per cent of UK construction industry employees were female, yet no official figures were presently available on the number of women working in the field of cooling.
Ms Prado said, “A reputation for being ‘man’s work’ is failing to attract talented women at all levels in the industry. Benefits are also failing to keep pace with the configuration and expectations of a diverse and modern workforce as we are living with the residual legacy of work packages developed decades ago for a largely male, full-time workforce. In order to drive change, we must redesign current workplace practices to accommodate the diversity of today’s workforce who want flexibility, equal opportunities, and better access to training and development”