LEGO joins Women in 3D Printing as a corporate member
LEGO is partnering with Wi3DP in direct response to the growing need for more women on its ever-expanding LEGO AD&M team. As a rapidly growing organization, Wi3DP has been identified as an ideal partner to help reach and engage with more talented audiences – as they have many female professionals with a particular interest in AM.
Ronen Hadar, who leads the LEGO Group’s Additive Design and Manufacturing (AD&M) team, believes that a diversity of experiences, backgrounds and thoughts is what brings innovation to his team’s table. With LEGO AD&M, he combines his passion and values to meet some of the challenges of attracting and energizing today’s talent to inspire the next generation.
“We started our additive manufacturing (AM) journey nearly two decades ago, initially in prototyping to support our product development,” he shared. [over 11 years] here we have continued this journey and more recently have sought to produce our iconic LEGO bricks with AM for new, more innovative features. Today, we’re expanding its use all the time, which means there’s never been a more exciting time to join us.
“It’s no secret that if you look at engineering schools and universities, there are fewer female students than males,” Hadar continued. “This is not an issue specific to AM. However, as AM is still a relatively new discipline and industry, the gap is more visible. I also see a difference when recruiting for different disciplines – for example , more design-oriented positions attract more women than engineering ones. Our task is to close this gender gap and ensure that we attract the best female candidates to the LEGO Group.”
The big fix
Hadar also explained that to close the gap, it is necessary to understand its cause, which is why, as part of the company’s focus on diversity and inclusion, he has undertaken major initiatives. to reinforce this understanding. “We started with a series of LinkedIn posts, panel discussions and interviews with the LEGO Group, which resulted in some fantastic insights. I hosted a recent Women in Engineering event where female colleagues shared their personal experiences and opinions on the subject, and I attended several Women in 3D Print (Wi3DP) events to dig deeper into the subject. And now? I am currently mentoring AM enthusiasts through the Wi3DP mentorship program for the second year. All fantastic platforms for seeking understanding and driving change in the AM corner of the world!
The LEGO AD&M Group also encourages cultural diversity in the team with colleagues from around the world, but female representation is still currently at 25%. Initiatives such as the partnership with Wi3DP are part of a larger effort to improve representation. In the meantime, The LEGO Group has even bigger plans, continuing to push the AM industry towards the development and maturation of new technologies and materials and exploring bolder new applications.