Breaking Stereotypes: Women in the Manufacturing Industry


Mahindra AFS Gender Diversity

With more women entering the manufacturing industry, it seems like it’s no longer going to be a male-dominated arena.

Careers today don’t come with gender labels. Jobs that were considered to be only for men are now witnessing the prodigious entry of women. Today, women are leaving a strong footprint in every industry they step into. Women are showing their capabilities as leaders, business makers, managers and as CEOs too and Mahindra AFS is already a step ahead in this journey!

Changing Perspectives

The notion of the manufacturing industry being male dominated is one of the biggest misconceptions in the industry. However, things started to change with Lina Poonawalla’s entry in the field. Lina became the first woman to join the shop floor in the year 1967. Ever since more and more women have entered the field.

An employee at Mahindra AFS – Brunell Fernandes loves the sound of the engines. Her curiosity to know what goes into the making has gotten her into the field. She is now engaged in making engines for a range of vehicles including Scorpio, Bolero, and XUV500.
“It’s been an amazing journey of 9 years with the Mahindra family. Not only this, I have also got an opportunity to pursue my Executive MBA through Mahindra at Welingkar where I was awarded as the ‘Best Student’.

I have represented Mahindra at the National Fire drill competitions & have been awarded multiple times ‘The Fire Woman of the Year. I have always been inspired to join Mahindra because of my dad and my brother. A Mahindra family that teaches me to Rise” says Brunell.

Women hesitated to join the field since it was perceived as a job that requires hard labour. However, that has been replaced with advanced automation and technological provisions.

Women have started to bring their expertise and competitiveness in the international market. Recognising the efficacy of women, the auto industry has practically doubled the number of female employees!

Mahindra AFS Brunell Fernandes

Increasing Participation

For Mahindra AFS, gender diversity in automotive manufacturing on the shop floor is a must. There is a policy that at least 33% of employees hired should be women. This was a challenge and a risk at the same time for the company. However, the company accepted the challenge and consistently hired competent women employees.

Today, there is a total of 150 women at Mahindra working on the shop floor. More than 60 regular women supervisors are employed in areas like production, plant engineering, quality, maintenance, and supply chain. The managers believe that women possess high focus and determination to display their skills.

“Step by step, we are consciously trying to increase the first line of women engineers or supervisors on the shop floor to over 100 by October,” pointed out Vijay Nair, Vice-President, Employee Relations and Administration, Mahindra AFS.

Currently, out of 20 Employee Relations Officer, 8 of them are women. The provisions for women employees have played a significant role in increasing the participation.

Mahindra AFS is euphoric with the results that the involvement of women employee has brought to the business!

Is your organisation breaking gender stereotypes too?

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