Gender neutral environment important to encourage women in the workplace

Currently women comprise 5-7 percent of workforce across OEMs and Tier 1s. The image represents how MG Motor India is diversifying its workforce starting with Halol plant where 33% are women.

The celebration of International Women’s Day has been long debated. While there are some who feel it is a marketing gimmick when businesses go overboard trying to be politically right, some see it as a vehicle to increase awareness about women’s issues. Though the debate on that can continue, what can’t be ignored is how tackle gender parity, both professionally and socially.

In the automotive industry, which is long perceived to be a man’s domain, women are slowly but steadily making an impact. But is the work environment conducive to their needs and requirement? How exactly does the social bias creep in their professional ambit? Autocar Professional sought to find answers to all these questions and a lot more with its virtual forum celebrating the ‘gender benders’ called PowerWomen. The panellists included-

  • Ramkripa Ananthan, Design Head, Mahindra & Mahindra
  • Anupama Raman, Global Head, Software Academy, Continental Automotive
  • Aishwarya Pissay, TVS Racing
  • Mausam Joshi, Head, HR (Halol), MG Motor

Talent vs gender
One of the primary questions that the speakers delved upon is the bias that we commonly see both in the workplace and at home? Quite unknown to most, they creep into the choices people make and the perception that they have about others. The automotive sector is no different. From the shopfloor to the retail segment, companies are going all out to showcase a gender diverse approach.

However, Ramkripa Ananthan, Design Head, Mahindra & Mahindra says it may not always be a case of bias against women, “The number of women studying industrial design are miniscule. Just like the work place, it is important to cultivate gender neutral environment at home.”