Women professionals want to take on more responsibilities and play a larger role in operations, manufacturing, and engineering services sectors, and conducive policies and practices are needed to help gender inclusion in these core sectors of the economy, says a report.
A GE and Avtar research released today at GE’s BELONG 2021 conclave, has shown that women professionals want to take on more responsibilities and play a larger role in Make in India. The research also highlighted that a whopping 84.4 per cent of the male respondents believed that operations, manufacturing, and engineering services sectors would benefit significantly from employing more women. According to Avtar, these sectors have only 12 per cent women at present.
The research was commissioned by GE and conducted by Avtar during September and October 2021 among around 500 professionals (women and men), women engineering students, business and HR leaders in the operations, manufacturing, and engineering services sectors in India. “GE has a strong focus on improving all diversity gender, sexual orientation, abilities. This study provides us and our peer companies specific directions to improve gender diversity in operations, manufacturing, and engineering project management, said Sukla Chandra, I&D Council Leader, GE South Asia.
When asked what impedes women’s career growth in these sectors 63 per cent of women said it was stereotypical notions about women’s abilities and 59 per cent said it was a biased appraisal process. Men responded differently to the same question. 54 per cent of men think it was restrictive government regulation that deterred women’s development in these sectors followed by a lack of support from supervisors (51 per cent).
Notably, more men (30 per cent) than women (10 per cent) identified sexual harassment at the workplace as discrimination faced by women in the sector. This indicates that women feel safe working in these sectors. “The research insights give clear indicators in terms of possibilities in the sector, to help women talent plan, prepare, and build purposeful careers in this fast-evolving, hi-tech industrial sector. If each of the large employers takes steps in this direction, more women will be encouraged to embrace STEM education and pursue careers in the manufacturing and engineering sector,” Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President, Avtar said.
The research highlighted that government or policymakers may introduce initiatives to create awareness and encourage women’s employment in government jobs in manufacturing, operations, and engineering services sectors. Governments should look at implementing more policies for ensuring better work-life balance and reassess the policies pertaining to women in the sector such as the rules around women working in night shifts, it noted.