Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

In this context the main objective of this paper is to present some results of the EU-project "Women's qualification for new technologies and new forms of work organization". Within this project under the LEONARDO-scheme, partners from Germany, U.K., Italy and Denmark have developed a concept: how to make training for co-operative work-organization attractive and accessible for women in the production. The training model is based on an analysis of qualifications needs, training opportunities and training perspectives in some European manufacturing branches. ( Beer and Hamburg 1997)

The analysis led to the specification of the basic criteria for an in-company training scheme aimed at the integration of workers of both sexes into manufacturing industry, with particular stress on increasing access of women to technically skilled jobs. The initial aim of a 'women only' training module was replaced by training for the whole workforce, to avoid women being seen as the problem and to address the barriers presented by management and co-worker prejudices and stereotypes. The resulting modules can be used in both women only groups or mixed groups.

Training should be accessible and attractive for women. Accessibility has two aspects: the content and how it is organized. In particular the training should preferably take part at the work place during work time in order not to impinge on leisure time and family. The training should also be open to women who work part time. The content should be interesting and relevant and draw on the living conditions and experiences of the women involved. However care should be taken to avoid assumptions that all women's lives and experiences are identical. The examples used during the training should feature women; both working together with other women and in mixed groups with both men and women and should demonstrate women being competent and willing to learn new skills. However care again has to be taken to show ordinary women rather than 'superwoman'. The women participants should be able to identify with the material and the training should increase their confidence and their expectations of what they are capable of, while not encouraging them to ask the impossible of themselves. ( Beer 1998)


3 The training module

The guideline describe some main steps of initiating and realizing a training process which at the same time supports a change process in a company and empowers the employees. It means that the guidelines focus on both the learning processes of the individuals as well as the learning processes of the company. Characteristics of the changeprocesses dealt with in the guidelines are that learning is the basic foundation of changes. That the employees are actively participating in the learning-and-change process, and that the learning process is closely connected to the daily work situation.

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