This is How A Safe Workplace Attracts More Diversity
Rajesh Rawat, the designated mentor to the new women hires at MMTC-PAMP’s precious metals refinery elaborates on his professional equation with them. He emphasizes the importance of approachability and supportiveness in building a good relationship with his protégées. He cites examples when he personally ensured the safety of one employee during a health emergency, and another in the aftermath of a workplace injury. He also talks about going the extra mile to ensure their safety and comfort. “It’s important to be personally invested in the welfare of all employees, and I am particularly concerned about our new women hires since I personally mentor them. Most of our employees live in the Sohna area thanks to its proximity to our facility. In order to anticipate and prevent mishaps from occurring in their living spaces, I personally vetted the landlords, neighbours and living conditions of each woman’s residence. The extra effort meant that they were safer and their relationship with our company began on a positive note.”
The women themselves report a positive experience and increased motivation. Roomika Devi, Veena Kumari and Thanvi Rawat cite the great learning opportunities and exposure they get as significant motivators saying, “Our colleagues are happy to take the time to teach us how to work well and stay safe. We’ve also been given the chance to learn multiple functions rather than being tasked to just one workstation or one machine.” Jyoti Sharma and Taruna Gaur add, “Our colleagues are very supportive and helpful. We feel welcomed, and that helps us do our jobs better”. The women unanimously agreed that safety was a key aspect of their happiness at the workplace. Comparing it to their previous workplaces, they said that transport safety and floor safety in the facility were significantly better than their previous workplaces. “The culture here is more respectful. We feel safe moving around the refinery, and we feel empowered. Our suggestions are welcomed and our voices are heard. Some of us also fell ill or faced workplace injuries early in our tenure, but our work colleagues and the company took such good care of us that we were able to return to work feeling more energized.”
Rohit Awasthi, to whom the women report and Mr Rawat both also cite the benefits that their women colleagues have had on their own personal development. Mr Awasti says, “It has been an illuminating experience to manage them. There has been a lot of mutual learning, and the women in my team have helped me become a better manager”. Mr Rawat adds, “Being a mentor has given me greater purpose at work. I’ve never played this kind of role before, but it gives me immense pride now to be able to take part in the learning and growth of our new hires.”
In response to doubts about whether the extra effort and changes are worth it Mr Bhattacharjee, Mr Awasti and Mr Rawat unconditionally agreed that it was. “There is enough research to show that organizations benefit from diverse perspectives, and particularly from women’s viewpoints which are currently underrepresented at workplaces across the country. In fact, we have seen the positive impact in our own company, and wholeheartedly endorse that diversity is an important organizational trait”, they conclude.