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LEGO joins Women in 3D Printing as corporate member

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LEGO is partnering with Wi3DP in direct response to a growing need for more women in its ever-expanding LEGO AD&M team. As a fast-growing organization, Wi3DP was 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 heads up the Additive Design & Manufacturing (AD&M) team at the LEGO Group, believes that diversity in experience, background, and thinking, is what brings innovation to the table in his team. With LEGO AD&M, he is combining his passion and values to address some of the challenges in attracting and energizing the talent of today 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 “During my [over 11 years] here we’ve continued this journey and most recently, we’ve been looking at producing our iconic LEGO bricks with AM to achieve new, more innovative functionality. Today we’re expanding its use all the time, meaning there has never been a more exciting time to join us.”

LEGO AD&M joined Women in 3D Printing as corporate member. Wi3DP seen as key opportunity for diversification and attracting new talent

“It’s no secret that if you look at engineering schools and universities, the number of female students is lower than that of males,” Hadar continued. “That is not an AM-specific issue. However, since AM is still a relatively new discipline and industry, the gap is more noticeable. 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 bridge this gender gap and ensure we’re attracting the very best female candidates to the LEGO Group.”
The big fix

Hadar also explained that in order to fix the gap, it’s necessary to understand its cause which is why, as part of the company’s Diversity and Inclusion focus, he undertook some big initiatives to build that understanding. “We kicked off with a series of LinkedIn posts, panel discussions, and interviews with the LEGO Group, which lead to some fantastic insights. I hosted a recent Women in Engineering event where female colleagues shared their personal experiences and opinions on the topic, and I took part in several Women in 3D Print (Wi3DP) events to discuss the topic further. And now? I am currently mentoring female AM enthusiasts through the Wi3DP mentorship program for the second year. All fantastic platforms to seek understanding and drive change in the AM corner of the world!”

The LEGO AD&M group also encourages cultural diversity in the team with colleagues from across the world, but female representation is still currently at 25%. Initiatives such as the partnership with Wi3DP are part of a bigger effort to improve representation. In the meantime, LEGO Group has even more ambitious plans, continuing to continue to push the AM industry towards developing and maturing new technologies and materials and exploring bolder new applications.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites and, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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