Tetra Pak has highlighted the need to improve gender diversity in food and beverage manufacturing if the industry hopes to tackle some of the most pressing issues it faces, including food safety, food availability, and sustainability.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap report, women make up only a third of roles in the manufacturing sector, dropping to just 21% at a senior executive level.
Tetra Pak identifies an opportunity for more women to join the F&B manufacturing industry, to help drive transformational change. A huge variety of roles is required to boost innovation in the industry, ranging from mechanical and automation engineers to microbiologists and regulatory specialists.
Marie Sandin, vice president for engineering and plant automation at Tetra Pak, says: “Our global food systems are facing many challenges – in terms of climate change, food safety, and hygiene and distribution. We can make a difference in all of these areas, but our impact will be far more effective if we involve more women in the movement.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on critical environmental issues as well as the importance of food safety and availability and we need all hands on deck to address these evolving challenges.”
Tetra Pak’s food science lead for the USA and Canada, Abigail Dagadu, adds: “I see an opportunity for women to enter the food science discipline and make an impact. Drawing from my own experience, my role is to look for innovative solutions to some of the world’s most important issues today: from food insecurity and famine to metabolic diseases, like obesity and diabetes, it’s a chance to drive real societal change, and I would encourage all young women with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications to consider a career in the F&B industry.”
Laurence Mott, executive VP for development and engineering at Tetra Pak, concludes: “We have a number of women in leadership roles across Automation and Digital, Programme Management, Systems Engineering and Materials and Packaging, and our Future Talent graduate programme is helping usher in the next generation of female engineers and leaders, - but we can still do more.