Over the past few years, many of the CEOs of the companies we have invested in have made it clear that they prefer to have more women workers in their factories. Over the past years the labour contractors we speak to gauge the strength of demand for factory labour have told us that several large companies have made it clear only women will be considered for production line roles in factories. This PTI piece underscores the rising trend of Indian factories favouring women over men workers: “Not just in scooter or car manufacturing, today women are making their presence felt on shop floors in making tractors and trucks too with companies like Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Eicher Motors, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto seeking to accelerate the drive of gender diversity.
Four years ago, Tata Motors started with a batch of just five women with an aim of “creating a brigade of ‘Women in Blue’ by enrolling, educating and skilling girls, especially from economically deprived areas”.
Today, the company boasts of 1,812 women employees working on its shop floors, which is about 4 per cent of the total shop floor workforce (as on July 31, 2018), across its different plants.
Not too far behind, rival M&M’s automotive division began with 23 in 2016 and today it has over 380 women across all its manufacturing plants, while the company’s farm division and subsidiary Swaraj employs over 250 women on the shop floor.
Likewise, Royal Enfield, the two-wheeler division of Eicher Motors, runs an entire engine assembly line with women workforce of approximately 140.
Two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp too had embarked on Project Tejaswani with an aim of introducing women in shop floor and today the company has 160 women working in various roles in assembly operations at its different factories.
Rival Bajaj Auto has ‘Women Only’ assembly lines at its Chakan and Pantnagar plants.”
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