According to the World Bank, working women in India are a minority, making up just 12 percent of the country’s workforce. And, within that percentage, women’s participation in manufacturing is tiny. On International Women’s Day, we will discuss some challenges women face and how manufacturers can overcome these issues, tapping one of the largest pools of talents and closing manufacturing’s gender divide.
Women only make up one-third of India’s manufacturing jobs. Today, the sector faces the lowest number of females since 1960. So why is the number of women in the industry declining despite the overall rise of manufacturing jobs in India?
Unfortunately, misconceptions about manufacturing industries have kept many women from wanting to enter the field. Some of these include,
- assumptions that factories are unkempt and that hard physical work is part of every position
- long grueling working hours and unfriendly shop-floors
- a sense that decision-making roles are held only by men
Neither of the above assumptions is true.
Reducing the Gender Gap in Manufacturing
Encouraging women to pursue careers in manufacturing or any other industry for that matter is a goal of STEP (Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women). This initiative aims to provide employability skills and competencies to enable women to become entrepreneurs.
Ministry of Women and Child Development showcases elite talents in the manufacturing and service sector and regularly honors women from across India with the Nari-Shakti Puraskar award at the gala at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The winners have made impressive achievements in their respective communities and organizations as manufacturers. With women being significantly underrepresented in the manufacturing sector, STEP is helping to develop the next generation of women that will lead the manufacturing workforce.
Why Hire More Women?
Manufacturers stand to benefit from a higher number of females in their companies.
- Increased gender diversity augments innovation, higher returns on employment, and more profitability.
- Adding a women workforce enables companies to tap into a new talented and well-educated pool, given the number of women earning degrees.
- They are professionals who can become influential leaders within the manufacturing industry.
Attracting, retaining, and promoting women within the manufacturing sector is crucial to growing the Indian economy.
- Women bring skilled labor as hard workers with creative and problem-solving abilities.
- A more diverse gender pool, possible through STEP initiatives and associations like Women in Manufacturing, brings different mindsets, improving organizations’ problem-solving abilities.
We are still steps away from building quantitative measures for their impact on business performance. To do this, bridging the skillset gaps is the need of the hour and reshaping the way women think about jobs in the manufacturing industries.
As a leader in manufacturing transformers and custom coils for industries ranging from automotive to military, Shreejee Electronics recognizes the importance of setting a positive example for other organizations and encourages strategies designed to lessen this gender gap.