During the 10th edition of CII Global Exhibition and Conferences on Construction Equipment & Technology (EXCON), the relationship between infrastructure as a sector and inclusion of women in the workspace was explored through a special initiative ‘Women Building India’. As a part of the initiative this year, the second edition of the Women Building India – Equal Opportunity Awards was held for the infrastructure sector related verticals, such as construction, construction equipment, power, airports, ports, highways and tolls from 17 to 21May 2022.
The awards recognize companies from the infrastructure sector for taking proactive steps to enable and encourage women to participate in the workforce. A total of 75 companies registered for the award, out of which 8 were shortlisted.
Anjali Pandey, Board Member, Cummins India Ltd received the award for ‘Committed Leader’, for her significant contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion at Cummins. Under her guidance, Cummins has been able to move its gender representation from 5% to 32% in just a few years – a massive milestone for a manufacturing organization to achieve.
Ms Pandey provided strategic guidance for the inclusion programmes and sponsored many initiatives focused on women. Supported by her, Cummins runs various initiatives for women, such as Women in Technology, ‘Breaking the Bias’. The company offers flexible work arrangements and award-winning facilities that cater to specific needs of women.
The award for ‘Inclusive Workplace’, was conferred on Volvo CE India Pvt Ltd. The organization has several programmes for women to develop their skills and calibre. It has an internal inclusion tool to assess the perception of fairness and respect for women in the workplace. It also has women-centric programmes, policies and focus group discussions to suit the diverse needs of employees.
Over the years, Volvo has made conscious efforts to ensure the recruitment, development and retention of women at all levels in the workforce. Volvo has a higher diversity mix compared to other companies in this sector. With 14% women at the senior management level, Volvo is working towards a mix of 35% women employees by 2025.
The Special Initiative Award for ‘Shop Floor’ was presented to Schwing Stetter India Private Ltd for the company’s path-breaking initiatives for women employees working at the manufacturing facility. These include accommodation at the plant facility, 24*7 security, transport facilities, support groups and other activities.
It also has clear skill development and career progression plans for the trainees. The company has trained women in skills such as heavy equipment assembly, welding and high technology machines. Schwing Stetter’s new global manufacturing facility in Cheyyar, Tamil Nadu has set a target of having 40% of the shop floor staff as women by 2025.
L&T Constructions and Mining Machinery won the Special Initiative ‘On Site’ Award for its role in supporting inclusion of women in the workspace. L&T hired, trained and deployed an all-women workforce at Tata Steel’s iron ore mines in Noamundi, Jharkhand.
Comprising 12% of the total workforce deployed at the mines, the women are trained in operating and after-sales services of large size heavy earthmoving and mining machinery. By climbing aboard off-highway large-size 100-ton dumpers for daily maintenance, scheduled overhauling, preventative maintenance checks, assembling and commissioning the 100-ton mining dumpers, the women have ensured a respectful and inclusive work environment. The company has a zero-tolerance policy on harassment and exclusionary behaviour.
Despite being in difficult terrains and engaging in construction, which is predominantly a male dominated industry, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has employed about 400 women, of which over 200 are in field operations across the length and breadth of the country. BRO received the ‘Special Mention’ award as it ensured that women are recruited at various levels like officers, subordinate staff and Casual Paid Labourers (CPLs) and are contributing in various capacities to building roads, tunnels and airfields.
To encourage and support women in the workforce, BRO offers a variety of roles and avenues for higher education, and access to proper healthcare amongst others. It follows ‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ and intends to make four ‘All Women’ led Road Construction Companies, two each in the north-eastern and western sectors. Currently, three such road construction companies in difficult terrains of Indo-China border, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand are led by Women.
Through the awards, CII hopes to co-create ecosystems that enable women to achieve their full economic potential and encourage Industry to adopt gender parity and inclusion of women in the workforce.
For more information visit the website CII- Women Building India- Equal Opportunity Awards