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Leading Welsh Manufacturers Commit to Gender Equality

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Two of Wales’ leading manufacturing and engineering companies have signed up to Chwarae Teg’s FairPlay Employer service, a promising commitment to the sector’s future in Wales.

Chwarae Teg, Wales’ leading gender equality organisation, is delighted that Ford Manufacturing and Safran Seats GB have joined the programme, which supports and reviews businesses on key areas such as recruitment, modern working practices, staff engagement and inclusion. The service provides its clients with a bespoke action plan, recognition as a FairPlay EmployerTM and access to a range of resources and events.

Safran Seats GB employs more than 1700 people across 3 main sites, with its Head Office based in Cwmbran, Torfaen. On 1st December this year Safran Seats GB (formerly Zodiac Aerospace) officially became a subsidiary of French-based  Safran, an international high-technology group operating in the aircraft propulsion and equipment, space and defence markets.

Through the FairPlay Employer service they are looking to continue their journey to be a great place to work and explore further initiatives to attract female engineers into the organisation.  Sian Williams, HR Director of Safran Seats GB, said:

“We are really pleased to be working with Chwarae Teg on the Fair Play Employer programme and believe this will help us as we move forward to becoming a great place of work as we identify and improve our diversity, inclusion and equality for all.”

Louise David, Chwarae Teg’s Business Lead, said

‘We are delighted to be working so closely with the manufacturing and engineering sector in Wales. We are encouraged to see organisations such as Safran Seats and Ford putting gender at the heart of their business for benefit of all.

It’s not just about recruiting women into the sector. Forward thinking businesses are taking a much more holistic approach. They want to ensure their business is the right environment for everyone to thrive, which is where Chwarae Teg can provide over 25 years of our expertise through FairPlay Employer.”’

Hugh Davies, Production Team Manager at Ford Manufacturing in Bridgend, said

“We are very excited to start on our journey with Chwarae Teg and look forward to exploring new aspects of employee engagement and inclusion. Understanding and supporting our work force is a key factor to developing and maintaining a happy working environment and also promotes improved business opportunities and ideas.”

The UK manufacturing and engineering industry continues to have a skills shortage. 72% of manufacturers are concerned about finding the skills they need for their business whilst only 10% of the workforce is made up of women. Ensuring that careers in engineering and manufacturing appeal to women and girls would go a long way to providing a workforce with great opportunities for individual and business alike.

Research shows that if we work towards closing the gender gaps in the economy we could add £150bn to GDP by 2025 which would result in an 8% economic growth to the Welsh economy.

The commitment shown by these two leading Welsh employers is promising news for the future of the industry, and the economy, in Wales.