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Women’s Month Perspectives: Nora Touré

Of course, we had to interview the Founder of Women in 3D Printing, Nora Touré, to kickstart our Women’s Month. Nora has dedicated her career to the movement, and we were lucky enough to have her share her wisdom on inclusivity with us. 

Nora Touré on bias

What experiences led you to create your non-profit organization “Women in 3D Printing”?

“Women in 3D Printing first started as a blog, back in 2014. I was building my Additive Manufacturing network at the time and wanted to hear and share the stories of the other women in the additive space.”

Has anyone ever underestimated your knowledge of 3D printing?

“It happened a few times, yes. Most of the time coming from prospects or customers rather than from my colleagues. The most vivid example came from a show I was exhibiting at a few years ago, and the delegate simply brushed me off, saying he wanted to talk to an engineer, pointing to one of my male colleagues, who wasn’t any more of an engineer than I am.”

What obstacles did you have to overcome to get where you are in your career today?

“Self-confidence is probably what took the longest for me to build, but has been critical for me to move forward in my career.”

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

“This is a very hard question! I have had so many highlights with all the companies I worked with so far! Being in sales and business development in our industry truly is a blast as we get to work on so many different projects! That being said, if I had to pick one, I would name the recent TIPE conference, which was the first annual conference of Women in 3D Printing, the non-profit I am running. We’ve had over 1,600 delegates and 147 female speakers joining us for this 2-day conference.”

In what ways do you inspire women to get involved in this industry?

“Women in 3D Printing’s mission is to close the gender gap in additive manufacturing by promoting the women in our industry in order to encourage more women to join the space. We are all about representation and providing female role models.”

Have you seen positive change in this industry in recent years?

“For sure! The simple fact that we had over 147 female speakers joining our conference earlier this year was a huge success and not something we might have been able to put together a few years back. We still have a long way to go through, but we do see a significant increase in the visibility of women in the additive manufacturing space.”

What actions can we take on a day-to-day basis to eliminate bias?

“This is a hard one. There are a number of studies out there providing guidance as to how to do just that. The issue with bias is that they are oftentimes unconscious. Starting by acknowledging our own bias is already a huge first step that we should all take the time to take. Then it’s about finding representation that can help break these biases.”