Women in Rubber Industry: Pioneering and Breaking Barriers

Men have long dominated the rubber industry, but that is changing rapidly. So, if you think the rubber industry is still male dominated, think again. Women have actively participated in this field for numerous years, even when pursuing a career in such a demanding sector was considered unconventional.

Historical Perspective

Do you remember the story of Bertha Benz, Carl Benz’s wife?
No? Then, keep reading.

Bertha Benz played a significant role in the early days of automotive history. Her famous 66-mile drive from Mannheim to Pforzheim in Germany was a game-changer for the industry.

Bertha was married to Carl Benz, a visionary engineer. Karl possessed exceptional genius and engineering skills, yet he lacked business acumen. Bertha decided to take matters into her own hands. She was determent to show to her spouse and to the world that the automobile was a reliable and practical means of transportation.

Bertha began the first “road trip” known to mankind. 

On a sunny morning in August 1888, Bertha silently prepared her husband’s Motorwagen along with her two teenage sons, Eugen and Richard, by her side. She set out on a daring adventure – visiting her mother in Pforzheim, 66 miles south. Along the way, she encountered numerous challenges—struggling brakes, engine breakdowns, treacherous terrain, and other troubles that threatened to halt her voyage.

Bertha sought out local shoemakers and cobblers along her route, relying on their expertise to improve the quality of her journey. Her 66-miles journey turned out to be a success. She returned to Mannheim armed with several recommendations for improving the vehicle. Some significant improvements include adding a third gear and proposing the installation of shoe leather onto the wooden brakes. It was Bertha Benz herself who had invented the concept of brake pads.

Did Bertha directly affect the rubber industry? Perhaps not. However, her accomplishments were groundbreaking for her time. By embarking on her extraordinary journey, she became the first test driver of a motor vehicle and played a vital role in advocating for and popularizing this revolutionary invention. Bertha’s determination showcased the automobile’s capability to cover extensive distances, solidifying its position as the future of transportation. It’s worth noting that Bertha achieved all of this as a remarkable woman, further accentuating the significance of her achievements.

What about the rubber industry?
Keep reading.

Opportunities for Women in the Rubber Industry

Women’s involvement in the rubber industry can be traced back to the late 19th century when the industry was in its infancy. Women were primarily involved in rubber cultivation, processing, and manufacturing during this time. As the rubber industry grew, women began to work in different areas, such as research, development, and engineering.

During World War II, when men were recruited for military service, women played a vital role in filling the labour gap in various industries, including rubber. This period marked a significant turning point for women in the industry and paved the way for more meaningful opportunities in the future.

During that time, women took on positions traditionally held by men, working in rubber factories, and manufacturing facilities, contributing to the war effort. For example, rubber companies in the USA employed over 70,000 women who were crucial in producing essential war supplies. These dedicated workers, known as “Rosies,” were responsible for manufacturing various items such as gas masks, barrage balloons, life jackets, and lifeboats or doing detailed work on tire inserts.

In the post-war era, women’s participation in the rubber industry expanded, and they increasingly found employment opportunities in administrative, clerical, and support positions. In recent years, many companies have recognized women’s value in the field and are actively working to recruit, retain, and advance women in their organizations. As a result, we see more women in leadership positions, including research and development, engineering, manufacturing. Not only that, but in some countries, such as Thailand and Indonesia, women comprise a significant portion of the rubber industry workforce.

What roles do women play at Black Donuts?

At Black Donuts, we are committed to perfecting the tire industry, and the ideas of circular economy are inherent in our business philosophy.

Recently, we have introduced a new line of eco-friendly and lighter tires, which have been designed to reduce fuel consumption and carbon emissions. This innovation results from a collaborative effort between the women of Black Donuts and their male counterparts. It is a testament to the power of diversity and collaboration in driving innovation.

The women of Black Donuts play a crucial role in the workforce, and they are not just breaking barriers and promoting diversity but also driving innovation and growth in the tire industry. They bring a fresh perspective to the industry and have contributed to development, production, and management.

The rubber industry, especially the tire sector, is an important sector of the global economy, and gender diversity is critical to its success. Women bring unique skills and ideas to the industry, which can lead to increased innovation, productivity, and profitability.

By actively seeking out and supporting women in the tire industry, you’re not only promoting gender equality, but you’re also enhancing your own company’s growth potential. Women bring unique perspectives and experiences that can only benefit your business.

We at Black Donuts strongly believe that the future of the rubber industry is bright, and the individual contribution of women will undoubtedly be pivotal in its success. Their contributions drive innovation, sustainability, and financial success, proving that gender has no bearing on skill or ability. We can make a difference and create a more inclusive and diverse industry as a community.

As David Ogilvy once said, “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”

Are you with us?


Women in the rubber industry




Image by: https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=202413