Women want to play a bigger role in Make in India:GE-Avtar Study

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365telugu.com online news,New Delhi,16 November,2021: A GE and Avtar research released today at GE’s BELONG 2021 conclave, has shown that women professionals want to take on more responsibilities and play a larger role in Make in India. The research also highlighted that a whopping 84.4%of the male respondents believed that operations, manufacturing, and engineering services sectors would benefit significantly from employing more women. These findings point to the readiness for women’s participation in Indian sectors that currently employ an estimated 27.3 million people in an estimated 2,70,000 large, medium and small companies. According to Avtar, these sectors have only 12% women today.

The research was commissioned by GE and conducted by Avtar during September and October 2021 among ~500 professionals (women and men), women engineering students, business and HR leaders in Operations, Manufacturing and Engineering Services sectors in India. Titled ‘An exploratory study on Women’s employment in Operations, Manufacturing
and Engineering Services in India,’ the research aims to help corporate organizations, policy makers and educational institutions formulate conducive policies and practices to help gender inclusion in these core sectors of the economy.

“We commissioned this study to create better understanding of the gender-specific challenges and opportunities in the areas of operations, manufacturing, and engineering project management. We run 15 factories in the country today. Approximately 15,000 of our employees work in these areas. Our gender diversity percentage across different teams varies from 10 to 30% and we felt we needed a more systematic approach to improving
gender diversity uniformly. The Avtar team has helped us uncover industry wide biases that may lead to low gender inclusion in these sectors.

I believe, the findings of this research will help us and our peer companies immensely as we further our inclusion goals,” said Mahesh Palashikar, President, GE South Asia. “GE has a strong focus on improving all diversity – gender, sexual orientation, abilities. This study provides us and our peer companies specific directions to improve gender diversity in operations, manufacturing and engineering project management,”said Sukla Chandra, I&D Council Leader,GE South Asia.

“Being a woman engineer and a professional, I am excited by two things the research has thrown up-a strong desire of women in these sectors to contribute more to Make in India, and the significant male allyship to growing gender diversity,” Chandra added.Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President, Avtar said, “Through the insights emerging from the research and the subsequent call to action, companies in the sector must take
active steps for engaging women talent, contributing to improving women’s workforce participation in the country.

The research insights give clear indicators in terms of possibilities in the sector, to help women talent plan, prepare, and build purposeful careers in
this fast evolving, hi-tech industrial sector. If each of the large employers take steps this direction, more women will be encouraged to embrace STEM education and pursue careers in manufacturing and engineering sector.”
The study was conducted in three parts a) A survey of professionals, both men and women in the manufacturing, operations, and engineering services sector b) Group discussions with women at various career stages (in these sectors) including women students from relevant engineering fields c) Discussion of best practices of companies.

The research areas delved into career influencers, career drivers, job/role expectations,and challenges faced by women in the operations, manufacturing,and engineering project management sectors.When asked what impedes women career growth in these sectors 63% women said it was stereotypical notions about women’s abilities and 59% said it was biased appraisal process.Men responded differently to the same question. 54% men think it was restrictive government regulation that deter women’s development in these sectors followed by a lack of support from supervisor (51%).

Notably, more men (30%) than women (10%) identified sexual harassment at workplace as a discrimination faced by women in the sector. This indicates that women feel safe working in these sectors.

As a significant confirmation of support from men in having female colleagues in the sector, 55.7% of men said that they were ready help create women friendly work environments and willing to volunteer as mentors to women employees.Also 50% of the male employees committed to consciously use appropriate inclusive language to make the work environment more friendly. Both men (64%) and women (62%) felt the biggest motivation to work these sectors was the opportunity to learn and upskill on the job, however, lack of opportunities to develop niche skills was also reported to be a challenge by men (36%) and women (31%). This clearly highlights the need for more upskilling activities which can help the employees.

Similar number of men (41%) and women (43%) identified the lack of relevant job opportunities as the biggest challenge to building their careers. The smallest challenge is the objections from family and friends. This shows that parental and societal attitudes towards women working in this sector is undergoing a positive shift. The study makes several recommendations pertaining to what the organizations, government agencies and educational institutions need to do, to make the predominantly male dominated industry of manufacturing, operations, and engineering, more diverse,
inclusive and women friendly.

For example, for government or policy makers may introduce initiatives to create awareness and encourage women employment in government jobs in manufacturing,operations,and engineering services sectors.Governments should look at implementing more policies for ensuring better work-life balance and reassess the policies pertaining to women in the sector such as the rules around women working in nightshifts.Perception ofdiscrimination against women Download the full report from here.