In conjunction with International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), Tetra Pak highlights the need to improve diversity in Food and Beverage (F&B) manufacturing to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the sector: food safety, food availability, and sustainability.
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Tetra Pak identifies an opportunity for more women to join the F&B manufacturing industry, to bring more diversity and help drive transformational change. A considerable variety of skillsets is required to boost innovation in the food packaging industry, ranging from mechanical and automation engineering to microbiology and food science. 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.
“This year’s International Women in Engineering Day (INWED) #EngineeringHeroes theme has never been so apt. Our global food systems face many challenges – in terms of climate change, food safety, hygiene, and distribution. The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on critical environmental issues and the importance of food safety and availability. We need all hands on deck to address these evolving challenges,” says Michael Wu, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia.
Tetra Pak Malaysia’s Senior Process Engineer, Wong Oi Lee, says: “I see an opportunity for more women to join as engineers in the F&B manufacturing industry to make an impact. In a male-dominated field, gender-diverse teams balance soft and hard skill sets, emotional maturity, and capabilities. My role is to design processing lines for our customers to help them manufacture and pack food products that are safe, hygienic, and nutritious. It involves working with teams to meet deadlines and budgets throughout the project life cycle, from an empty building or plot of land to a completed plant installed with equipment. Situations can get challenging when meeting deadlines; therefore, having a diverse team helps.”
NurLiyana Salehuddin Tan joined Tetra Pak Malaysia six years ago as the first female Field Services Engineer in Tetra Pak Malaysia. After two years of maintaining equipment and machines, troubleshooting and installing new kits and equipment, she then moved on to her current role of Cluster System Performance Specialist.
“As a specialist in this area, I work closely with internal teams and our customers to ensure that their F&B manufacturing plants are working at optimal levels. In this role, I help review plant or equipment performance, analyse data, perform benchmark studies, identify gaps, provide improvement solutions, and conduct performance assessments. The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, poses tremendous opportunities for the F&B manufacturing industry, including vigilance over food safety, improved productivity, improved quality assurance, and a greater ability to manage complex supply chains. As a female performance specialist, I have a chance to make a real change to deliver on our promise to ‘Protect What’s Good’ and to help make food safe and available everywhere. I urge all young women with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) qualifications to consider a career in the F&B industry.”
When asked what Oi Lee and NurLiyana would say to other budding STEM enthusiasts and potential female engineers, here is what they said.
“Being in the F&B manufacturing industry and engineering provides me with opportunities to work both mature technologies and, at the same time, allows me to be at the forefront of new developments. Whatever your interests are, there is a branch of engineering for you,” says Oi Lee.
“As a woman in a male-dominated field, it is important to be confident in your abilities and the unique skills you bring to the team. Stand proud and stand out!” states NurLiyana.
Michael Wu, Managing Director of Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, and Indonesia, comments, “The success of a company depends not only on the competence of its people but also the diversity within. At Tetra Pak, we have several women in leadership roles across the business, from Automation and Digital to Materials and Packaging. However, we can still do more. The F&B manufacturing industry has not always been the most attractive career choice due to the stereotypes of a heavily male-dominated sector. Still, now, there is a tremendous opportunity for more diversity and for female innovators to help shape the world and protect our food supply chains for generations to come.”
Tetra Pak supports International Women in Engineering Day (INWED), 23 June, an international initiative celebrating the work and achievements of female engineers. The day provides an important opportunity to raise women’s profile in innovation and highlight the fantastic career opportunities available. To celebrate International Women of Engineering Day (INWED), Tetra Pak has published a Voices of Innovation brochure. The brochure showcases female employees worldwide in different roles and backgrounds, discussing how they are helping futureproof our global food supply chain.
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