Non-profit organization Women in 3D Printing (Wi3DP) works to promote, support, and inspire women working in the additive manufacturing industry, with 75 local chapters in 30 countries and more than 23,000 members. As the name suggests, Wi3DP’s main initiative is to increase the visibility of female leaders in our illustrious industry, along with engendering a more inclusive, equitable, and diverse AM workforce. In fact, the organization is working to further increase its focus on these aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusivity, and as such has appointed AM media leader Sarah Goehrke as its new Director of DEI Initiatives.
Goehrke’s career in this industry began in 2014, right here at 3DPrint.com, first as a writer/editor and then as Editor-in-Chief, before she moved on and founded editorial services company Additive Integrity. Not only has she contributed content to publications such as All3DP, Forbes.com, and 3D Printing Media Network, but she was also the Managing Editor of Fabbaloo from 2018-2021 via an Additive Integrity contract, and has been a panelist, moderator, and keynote speaker at many an industry event over the years as well.
Ever since Wi3DP announced it was going non-profit in 2018, Goehrke has been on the Board of Directors, and also led the charge to create the organization’s Diversity for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) reports, as well as writing the first editions. Additionally, she was part of the executive team that developed TIPE 3D Printing by Wi3DP, an industry-first conference consisting solely of female speakers, and also led the People track of the event. All this, paired with her copious amounts of experience in content creation for some of the industry’s biggest names, leaves no doubt that Goehrke is the right person for the job.
“We are thrilled to strengthen our collaboration with Sarah. Not only has she been a very vocal advocate for more gender-based diversity in the industry for years, she also has a very clear position in making the AM industry more inclusive of all diversity,” said Wi3DP Founder Nora Touré. “We, at Women in 3D Printing, are aligned with Sarah as we believe our mission should go beyond gender-diversity. Like every other Wi3DP initiative, the new DEI department we are building is aimed at being shaped and owned by the industry.”
In her new organizational role as Wi3DP’s Director of DEI Initiatives—a part-time position run through a partnership with her own company—Goehrke will work to drive, create, and operate programming and initiatives focused on DEI and shoring up the AM industry workforce, based on industry needs and responses.
According to Wi3DP itself, it’s estimated that “the 3D printing workforce is composed of just 13% women, with 11% women-owned businesses — a far cry from the 50% metrics we’re targeting.” But companies with more diversity often report higher employee retention and satisfaction, in addition to earning more revenue. In our fast-growing industry, the AM companies that have set up solid DEI strategies will be the most likely to reap the benefits.
“DEI is a growing focus, with more companies across the AM industry establishing roles such as Chief Diversity Officers and internal DEI teams. At Women in 3D Printing, our vision has always been to promote, support, and inspire women interested in and working in the 3D printing industry,” Goehrke stated. “Through these new initiatives, we look forward to partnering directly with companies to help develop their ideas as well as to facilitate broader conversations and actionable initiatives. We’ll be looking beyond our foundational focus of gender parity — which remains a priority — to ensure that this industry continues to develop as a welcoming professional environment that celebrates the individuality and identity of everyone in the workforce.”
Goehrke will be setting up and leading volunteer teams that will work to create DEI resources for the whole industry, such as analytical industry reports, benchmark studies, corporate value statements, data collection, speaker training, interviews, company workshops, and virtual panels. Then, AM companies will be able to use these resources to improve their own workforces.
“I’ve been working with a core team to create programming, as well as with a media contingent to talk, listen, and share experiences and resources. And soon we’ll be working with pilot partners across the industry to dig into those resources, with wider availability for more companies in 2022,” she wrote in an Additive Integrity blog post.
One initiative Wi3DP DEI is actively working on now is collaborating with current, and new, corporate members to set up a partnership structure for companies that are looking to improve their internal structures in regards to DEI. Goehrke is working with volunteers to help form these initiatives, and is always looking for more!
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