Continental Reinforces Its Pursuit of Female Engineering and Tech Talent

This month, international automotive supplier Continental will participate in the 2016 Women of Color STEM Conference and the Society of Women Engineers’ 2016 WE16 Conference – reinforcing its intent to increase gender diversity and inclusion at all levels. Recognized as one of America’s Best Employers by Forbes magazine for two consecutive years, Continental is committed to attracting top engineering and tech talent to its ranks and becoming a workplace of choice for women.

“Our technical teams are vital problem solvers within the company. We need to utilize the most diverse range of perspectives possible,” said Ann Baker-Zainea, Continental’s senior human resources and staffing manager. “Continental is committed to building a pipeline of diverse candidates who add unique value and strengthen our technical workforce.”

The 21st Annual Women of Color STEM Conference held October 13-15, at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center and Cobo Center recognizes the significant contributions by women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and encourages interest, entry and retention among female talent within the nation’s scientific and technical workforce. Continental will sponsor the 2016 Women of Color STEM Conference Job Fair on Saturday, October 15, where hiring managers will provide participants with job and career information, on-the-spot interviews, internship opportunities and graduate program information.

Continental will actively recruit at WE16, the world’s largest conference and career fair for women in engineering and technology. Held October 27-29, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, the Society of Women Engineers convenes, celebrates and inspires 9,000 women in all career stages and provides invaluable ways for them to connect to discover career opportunities and pursue professional development.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up only 13 percent of the engineering workforce in the U.S. The National Center for Education Statistics reveals that women comprise only 20 percent of engineering graduates and occupy 25 percent of computing jobs.

“A 2014 American Psychological Association study estimates that nearly 40 percent of women who earn engineering degrees either quit or never enter the field,” said Baker-Zainea. “That’s why it is imperative that we aggressively engage and promote women in technical roles and help reverse this trend.”

Continental’s Jennifer Wahnschaff, vice president, Instrumentation and Driver HMI for the Americas and one of the company’s highest-ranking female leaders in North America, was recently honored during DBusiness‘ 2016Powered by Women Breakfast Series. Wahnschaff is an active mentor in the supplier’s Women’s Forum that aims to capitalize on the company’s strengths and inspire “One Continental.” In the metro Detroit area, Continental has more than 300 members in the Women’s Forum and this level of participation continues to expand. Women’s Forums are also located at Continental facilities in the Chicagoland area, Mexico and across the globe including several Forums established in Europe.

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