#Shemaker Webinar Series: The Shop Floor Beckons With Sharmishtha Biswas

When we think of the manufacturing industry, there is always the tendency to associate a bunch of men lugging around heavy objects and operating heavy machinery. What’s a woman to do on a shop floor? But nothing can be further from the truth because women do belong on the shop floor and even though it’s 2020, it’s sad than one has to still reiterate this, despite the industry and technology coming such a long way. Here at ThiinkEqual, we were privileged to share in the wisdom of Sharmishtha Biswas who is a manufacturing leader at Johnson & Johnson India and is well-versed in Supply Chain Design and Management, Logistics Management, Labor Relations, Continuous Improvement, and Business Intelligence.

Women are doing a great disservice to the industry and entire country if they do not join in

Having got her bachelor’s degree from the National Institute of Technology, Raipur, and later her master’s from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she is someone who has worked in various parts of the world and hence understands what it means to work in a multi-cultural environment. She strongly believes that women belong in the manufacturing industry, but there are many myths that need to be crushed before young women are made to feel comfortable with choosing this line of career. The biggest cause for the lack of women in the industry is due to false assumptions. Moreover, in the wake of COVID-19, manufacturing companies need to step up their diversity and inclusion initiatives in order to boost the economy. For Sharmishtha, extraordinary means bringing excellence to the ordinary, but the key factor is to always be curious because women do have a unique set of skills that they bring to the table. Women are doing a great disservice to the industry and to the entire country if they do not join in.

“Connect, connect, connect” should be the mantra of all women

Apart from covering various details about how companies can work with a low demand season to their advantage, she suggests addressing inefficiencies and reigniting relationships. Sharmishtha also touched on how women who are already within the industry can advance their trajectory. “Connect, connect, connect” should be the mantra of all women because relationships and communities are vital if one wants to grow. On the other hand, companies need to be reminded of the fact that not everyone starts at the same time, but they need to ensure that everyone crosses the finish line and no one is left behind professionally. Hence, companies need to work closely with its people in order to create s sense of belonging and harmony during such uncertain times, whether it’s the shop floor or at the desk.

Image credit: ThiinkEqual #Shemaker Webinar

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