International Women’s Day honours Women in the 3D Printing Industry
How better to acknowledge International Women’s Day than to commemorate those within this fast-growing industry, most specifically, women in the 3D printing industry. Such an industry, usually over flooded with men, brings quite a “shock” to some women, which is why Nora Toure, founded Women In 3D Printing.
Nora Toure’s sole purpose is to promote, support and inspire women who are well versed in the world of 3D Printing. Her mission is to literally “increase the visibility of women in the Additive Manufacturing industry and encourage more women to use 3D Printing technologies”.
Women from a wide range of sectors are invited to share their business expertise through an interview. These women are sharing their experiences in all sectors of the industry: software, fashion, art, architecture, healthcare, food, aerospace and defense, product liability, or even automotive industries. Michelle Du Toit, Signe Damgaard, Nina Hoff, Melissa Orme, Jenny Chen, Farah Tabibkhoei, Naomi Wu are some women on the long list of industry insiders, who have already been given the floor on the platform.
Fortunately, to achieve this mission, Nora Toure finds herself encircled with those that also share the same vision statement: Helene Andre, Oury Thomas, Celine Razat and Nathalie Maillol.
We had a chance to talk with Nora Toure to get more of an insight on how she perceives the additive manufacturing industry and more specifically its importance for women to be a part of this world.
“Women in 3D Printing”: is a growing platform. Is the initial goal still the same today?
Yes, there are a lot of women in the 3DP but they are not visible. And there are many reasons why there are a lot of women. 3D Printing is a technology that can be used in a lot of industries.
We have a lot of men and women coming from different industries including 3D Printing. There are a lot of people that did not use 3D Printing at the beginning who are developing their projects using it now. That gathers a lot of people in this industry.
The thing is, we don’t see a lot of women on tech events stages, nor in technical articles. I wanted to highlight them through this platform.
With regards to the various events and interviews, do you think these women somehow share the same challenges in their work?
I interviewed a lot of engineers…and non-engineers. The engineers tend to be the only women in their workplace. Other women coming from other industries are “shocked” to realize they are the only women because they are not used to that situation.
And you, do you encounter some difficulties in the management of this platform?
Not really. One of the challenges is that I was alone on the project at first. Doing it as a part-time job in addition to my full-time job is not always easy. I am now fortunate to have a team of amazing women helping me with the blog, events and overall strategy of the organization.
Are you going to extend the platform beyond the blog?
We already did some things beyond the blog. I partnered with Barbara Hanna for the #3DTALK event series.
We invite women as speakers to share their knowledge regarding different topics of the 3D Printing industry. Sometimes it’s a challenge, because, there are topics for which it is difficult to find female speakers.
The 3D Printing Market
In 7 years of career, do you notice a clear evolution of the 3D printing market? What do you think of the market today?
When I started, it was mainly focused on consumers. It was mostly rapid prototyping, not actual production. From 2009 to 2012, there was a big buzz around 3D Printers which led to other targets. This creates a shift in the number of sales of 3D printers since consumers use it themselves but also in other industries.
You are a multi-tasking woman. Should we expect another step, another achievement in another area of 3D printing?
I feel lucky to be approached by different organizations including 3D Heals, and 3DAfrica, who are trusting me to be their advisor. I am now focusing on Sculpteo, Women in 3D Printing, 3D Heals and 3D Africa.
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