Ola has smashed the gender wall by announcing its plans for the world’s largest all-woman factory. There are many others who have been employing women in their factories for years, some like HUL’s nail products plant have seen an immediate quality boost as a result.
In India, working women make up for just 20 percent of the work force, according to the World Bank. Out of this 20 percent, a minuscule percentage works in factories or industries. The garments, textiles and automobile sectors tend to employ more women in their factories and shop floors.
Now, Ola has announced that its two-wheeler plant located in Tamil Nadu will be run entirely by women. But others like HUL, Kirloskar, P&G, Mumbai-based Mydentist and Gits have been employing all-woman teams for years.
On a global scale, India tops the charts with many companies having all-woman teams running their plants or factories. China and Bangladesh too have all-woman work forces but these countries have been repeatedly hauled up for their insensitivity towards women.
Mahindra & Mahindra has hired 150 women for its automotive and farm equipment manufacturing facility. Not all of them are semi-skilled.
Eicher Motors, manufacturers of the iconic Royal Enfield, has an entire engine assembly line managed by 140 women. Tyre maker CEAT and Tata Steel too hire women for their factories. Schwing Stetter has gone a step ahead and is providing hostel facilities to accommodate their female employees while also offering an after-work programme. This five-year programme trains women aiming to become engineering graduates.
Daimler India, eager to catch up on inducting women employees this year, has made sure there are women’s restrooms and change rooms apart from giving gender sensitivity training to their male staff.
Here are some of the other companies which believe in woman power:
Hindustan Unilever Limited
HUL’s nail products factory in Haridwar is being run by an all-woman team since 2015. After the management decided to hire women on the factory floor, there was a productivity jump, 90 percent zero quality defects and nil attrition. In 2019, out of the 39 women employees, four were at manager level, 11 at executive level and 24 at blue collar level.
Hindustan Coco-Cola Beverages
The HCCB factory in Sanand near Ahmedabad has 60:40 ratio of men to women employees across three shifts. They can handle forklift with ease, work for eight hours with two breaks. There are 34 women working at the HCCB factory managing multiple jobs.
Kirloskar Brothers Limited, Coimbatore
Around 200 women have been working at the Kirloskar Brothers pump manufacturing factory near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Set up in 2010, these women reduced the assembly time for pumps to around 17 seconds and entered the Limca Book of Records too. Around 105 women are semi-skilled and 12 are in support services and unskilled. The rest are skilled and trained to manage critical operations of the factory.
Ola’s plant will be the world’s largest all-woman factory employing 10,000 women. This will also be an all-woman automotive production facility. The move is the first in a series of initiatives that Ola is undertaking to establish a more inclusive workforce across all its verticals. The Futurefactory in Tamil Nadu will be the world’s largest and most sustainable two-wheeler factory. The company aims to produce its Ola S and Ola S Pro electric scooters from the premises with a full capacity of 10 million units a year.
The tyre company early this year opened an all-woman operated customer service centre at Bhatinda, Punjab. More such customer service centre ‘shoppes’ will be opened in the coming months, the company said. The services offered in these centres will include wheel changing, balancing, operating of machinery among others.