CEO Aneesa Muthana spoke at one of a few 3dexperienceworld2024 presentations on how and why diversity, equity, and inclusion foster innovation, enhance alignment, and alleviate pains from the workforce crisis many businesses in engineering and manufacturing are experiencing.

With a surge in retirements of apprenticeship-based knowledge and more college degrees earned with each graduating class- the frontline and skilled labor pool for manufacturing is experiencing painful and substantial setbacks. At the same time, acquiring and retaining engineers is becoming more difficult, with increasing demands for competitive wages, virtual work opportunities, and attractive counter offers. Hiring events, increased talent acquisition spending, and other initiatives have brought marginal success to alleviate these challenges.

Empowering the future workforce will improve innovation and sustainability worldwide while sustaining company growth. Including qualified individuals from diverse backgrounds, giving fair opportunities and compensation for skills, and ultimately fostering a cultural sense of belonging within the workplace are needed for empowerment. The removal of victimization culture, “Us vs. them” mentalities, and checking-off-a-box methodologies for recruitment successfully enable DE&I initiatives that result in creativity and the cultivation of stronger teams and longer retention.

The intersection of collaboration and inclusion led to a shift in my views during these sessions. With radical inclusivity, team members may have mentors, apprentices, or even career-long relationships with individuals who look exactly like them or those around them. These relationships, alike and diverse, are both critical to fostering inclusion alongside collaboration and ultimately providing crucial guidance, brainstorming opportunities, or knowledge sharing.

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