Traditionally, men have been dominating manufacturing - perhaps for centuries. But with women empowerment now given due recognition, and gender diversity on a firm footing, the choice for women joining manufacturing has now gained momentum.
For women, managing shopfloors with diligence is now a career choice; they can give it an innovative and robust feminine touch. Today, women need to think differently as manufacturing offers lot of opportunities and recognition to challenge the “norm”. Career in this field is interesting and rewarding with assorted choices across path. There is a lot of room in this field to grow and reach enviable heights irrespective of your gender.
In the present scenario, though women have excelled in other streams, we find less of them opting for this segment apparently due to the inherent notions regarding the nature of this job as well as for other factors like lack of flexible and span of working hours, logistic support, night shifts, safety and so on. Moreover, some male counterparts may have an apprehension in delegation due to the traditional mind-set of women and the perception that they may not be capable of handling the shopfloor pressures. These issues need to be addressed and resolved at the apex level to attract women talent in manufacturing industry. Of course, many organisations have definitely taken very positive steps towards addressing these issues and they are proving to be great role models.
Although women are joining the automobile industry specifically in the support and service department, we need to encourage more women to join in production and take this as a challenge and conquer the traditional mind set of people. Be an example for the women of tomorrow and be a role model for young women who want to break down the gender barriers. Research also shows that leadership diversity can be a key contributor to innovation by recruiting and retaining women in manufacturing industry.
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The author is Executive Director – Group HR, RSB Transmissions (I) Ltd.