Female participation in tyre R&D increasing, says Conti
On 1 March eleven graduates commenced Continental’s Explore Tires Research & Development trainee programme, and the German tyre maker has noted that – for the first time ever – female inductees outnumber their male counterparts; for 2012, the new intake of tyre research and development trainees includes six women and five men. Conti says that the proportion of women accepted for training in the research, development, production and marketing of tyres has been increasing over a number of years.
“Research and development, particularly in the automotive industry, is often considered purely a man’s world,” commented Geert Roik, who is in charge of research and development for commercial vehicle tyres at Continental. “At Continental the reality looks different these days. In the previous financial year more than a third of new tyre development recruits were women. And in our internationally-oriented tyre research and development trainee programme we have noted a growing proportion of women. As a rule we seek a balanced ratio of male and female candidates for this trainee programme. The intake that started on 1 March, with its more than 50 per cent female component, represents a clear sign and shows that the technical skill of female applicants is of a high level.”
Continental’s tyre division offers two various research and development trainee programmes; each year a total of approximately fifty trainees are recruited around the world for these.