Missing shades of Pink
"Make in India" is an initiative that will help fight back economic slowdown while putting India on par with developed countries in terms of manufacturing levels. Our wide resource of skilled professionals who are equipped with latest levels of knowledge are meant to promote and support this vision of Make in India. But what about the PINK Resources, the “women candidates or women entrepreneurs for that matter”?
In a recent study, I have found through various sources of hiring that the presence of female counterparts in core sectors like Energy / Oil & Gas / Construction / Power / EPC / Minerals / Manufacturing industries are low.
Here functions like Design, Procurement, Project Management, and Construction require core technical knowledge and skill sets. The percentage of female candidates to the total available suitable candidates is only 1.5% in these functions. The same percentage is less than 1 in senior / leadership roles of the above mentioned functions.
If we talk about Btech / BE , Diploma Mechanical qualified candidates, the percentage of female candidates among the total available manpower resource (of this vintage) is even less than 3%.
Reasons may be pertaining to project site locations, intensive touring in distant or hard-to-reach places with poor rail and air transport connectivity - as these assignments are generally infrastructure and utility or construction based. Safety and security are also area of concerns for women in this sector. Whereas, sectors like IT, Telecommunication , Banking , Education may not face such constraints as placements are often in urbanised cities or metros. It is also observed that there are less female students in Mechanical & Civil engineering opting for campus placements in Energy / Oil & Gas / Construction / Power / EPC / Minerals / Manufacturing industries, most of them inch towards IT , Telecommunication , Automobiles and other stable options.
This shows and gives clear evidence that in India we have less women manpower resources in core sectors. The same is almost at its diminished level in leadership roles in Technical Functions of these Industries.
This leaves us with a gaping question “How can women be more technically involved in these core sectors?” - "How will they participate more in "Make in India"?
We need to first understand that manufacturing jobs are sometimes misrepresented as being repetitive, requiring fewer skills or dull, not to mention requiring a lot of physical strength. But in reality, in today's times, computerised automation vastly increases complexity of modern production processes thereby leading to the demand for very high skilled workers.
Community outreach programs in schools and colleges could help change girls' perceptions of opting for careers in the manufacturing sector , as well as the implementation of zero-tolerance policies on sexual harassment. Another way to attract more women is to build more workplace flexibility. Thus ensuring higher numbers of participation by PINK RESOURCES - “WOMEN” !
By Neeti Singh