Tata Motors, Mahindra accelerate drive to employ more women on shop floors
Homegrown automakers such as Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Leyland and Hero MotoCorp have accelerated their drive to employ more women in shop floors in a bid to enhance employee diversity. Women, who were once outsiders in this industry, are now rolling out two-wheelers, SUVs and even heavy commercial vehicles in the factories of these OEMs.
Tata Motors has been a pioneer in this context with an all-women line at its Pune facility where over 1,500 of them produce the company's popular SUVs such as Harrier and Safari. In total, the OEM employs 4,500 women working in the shop floors across its six manufacturing plants.
The company's Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) Ravindra Kumar GP told PTI that 25 per cent of all new recruits are women. “We are an equal opportunity employer and believe a gender-balanced workforce leads to increased productivity, better decisions, enhanced collaboration, and more innovative ideas. Our focus is on enhancing diversity, especially on the shop floor," he said.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has seen the number of women employees at its manufacturing plants grow by three times over last year to 1,202 at present. These women are involved in core activities ranging from welding to robotics loading, vehicle assembly and machine shop, among others. The company hires from over 25 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), some of which are women-only ITIs.
Commercial vehicle maker Ashok Leyland employs 991 women at its seven different manufacturing plants. An all-women assembly line comprising nearly 120 of them is engaged at its Hosur plant in the assembly of engines for light commercial vehicles producing 120 engines per shift in a day.
World's largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp employs over 1,500 women employees. The concept of women technicians and engineers in the automobile industry once seemed like a distant dream but has now become a reality.