Trailblazing Women: Defying Gender Stereotypes in Field Jobs
For decades, field jobs have been associated with men, and women have often been discouraged from pursuing careers in these fields. However, a new wave of women is breaking down barriers to make a mark in fields that were once deemed exclusive to men. Inspiring women both on and off the field, Mahindra Rise's #SheIsOnTheRise celebrates forerunners embracing equity and shattering stereotypes.
Meet The Trailblazers
Anushka Patil: First Female Engineer on Shop Floor
"Coming from a family of farmers, adjusting to diverse situations was a way of life for me since childhood" ~ Anushka
Anushka Patil, a mother of two daughters defied gender stereotypes and made her mark in the male-dominated field of industrial engineering. She started her career as the first and only female officer on the shop floor, facing biases and preconceived notions. However, her eagerness to learn and deliver at the workplace while balancing both professional and personal life has taken her where she is today. Anushka's impressive tenure of 13.2 years with Mahindra has been recognised with her winning the "Lady Engineer Award" and "Mahindra Lady Icon Award".
Poonam Yadav: 15 Years of Exemplary Leadership through Empathy and Inclusivity
"Since I was given a level-playing field by my leaders, I, too, wanted to drive true empowerment in the same way" ~ Poonam
Poonam's growth journey is incredible - starting as a tele caller in 2007, she worked her way up to currently lead the Call Centre Operations for Mahindra First Choice Wheels in Gurugram. Managing a team of 150+ telecallers today, Poonam is committed to nurturing talent from within the organization. She has introduced several initiatives, including the "REVIVE Program" for those who lost their jobs during the pandemic and the "2nd Inning Career" program to support women who have taken a career break due to family responsibilities or maternity leave. Her unwavering dedication to fostering diversity and inclusion has helped establish a more welcoming work environment. Poonam has spent 15 years at Mahindra First Choice Wheels and continues to be an inspiration to her team, encouraging them to push beyond their limits.
Kajal Padval: Leading an All-Woman Team for India's Only Female-Driven Solar Plant
"Belief in one’s ability is the key to success" ~ Kajal
Kajal Padval is a highly accomplished electrical engineer who has made remarkable contributions to the renewable energy industry. Her recent achievement in launching an all-woman distributed solar plant at RCF, Chembur, is a testament to her expertise and unwavering commitment to promoting gender diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Despite facing financial constraints during her upbringing, Kajal's father, on a single salary, prioritized education for all his children, enabling them to build successful lives. As a Site Engineer for Mahindra Teqo, Kajal understands the critical importance of adhering to strict safety procedures to ensure the safety of herself and her team members. Her passion for her work continues to shine through, inspiring women who aspire to pursue careers in non-traditional fields. Kajal's journey serves as an inspiration to those who believe that hard work and perseverance can overcome even the most daunting challenges.
These women have battled personal and professional challenges to break stereotypes and achieve success in their fields. Their individual stories inspire organisations to nurture and enable more women professionals. They are celebrated for their merit, achievements, and the immense value they bring to the organisation and society.
Watch the full video celebrating women across different sectors of Mahindra here.
The Power of Nurturing Women in Field Jobs: Boosting Diversity and Driving Business Success
The benefits of nurturing women in field jobs are numerous, creating a positive impact both for the women and the organisation. Having more women in field jobs brings diversity to the workplace, leading to increased innovation, creativity and problem-solving. Women bring a unique perspective and skill set to the job, which can help companies better understand and serve their customers.
Studies have shown that diverse teams perform better and have higher levels of productivity and profitability. A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile.
Sairee Chahal, Founder - SHEROES & Mahila Money says, "Today, there's this massive wave of aspiration in India - मैं कुछ करना चाहती हूं ("I want to do something") attitude. Cutting across demographics, age, and class divide, aspiration is the common binding factor of the work we do. Women have this aspiration to be recognized, to be independent, and to be part of the new technology. We are still a country where only 9% of women have formal work, which means the rest are looking for different ways to make income. Equal representation of women in the workforce is not a luxury but a necessity. When women are included, we all win."
Organisations can support and nurture women in field jobs through training, mentorship, and growth opportunities. Training programs can help women acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in their roles. Mentorship programs can help women build relationships with more experienced colleagues who can offer guidance and support.
In closing, we echo Maya Angelou’s words, "I believe that each of us comes from the creator trailing wisps of glory. Phenomenally. Phenomenal Woman, that's me." Here’s to incredible women in field jobs and their contributions. May their tribe continue to rise.