We hear a lot about the gender gap in the tech industry and entrepreneurship in India, but, for some reason, the manufacturing industry, particularly heavy industry, keeps getting left behind in the race for diversity and inclusion. These desperately need the attention of the government and the corporate world as studies have shown that ‘women barely constitute 12% in the manufacturing sector, just 3% in core engineering.’ If we compare these numbers to the IT industry, there is a massive difference in the participation of women, from entry-level to middle-management and above. Moreover, many tech companies have made their diversity agenda very explicit, like Accenture, Wipro, and the like.
Manufacturing is seen as a career for boys rather than girls, which of course is a myth
However, we need to look beyond the tech industry in terms of the inclusion of women because even though women are the largest consumers of products how many of them actually play a role in the making of these products? The biggest reason why there are so few women in the manufacturing industry is that there are too many misconceptions. The most common one being that it requires one to exert manual labor and that the opportunities are not as lucrative as other industries. This cannot be more further from the truth. On the other hand, women are actively discouraged from entering this field more than others because it is seen as a career for boys rather than girls.
“The way India and its women will move into a post-Covid-19 world will be key to social and economic empowerment”
Thus far, wherever women have been given the opportunity to use their talent, they have excelled, regardless of the sector. “We need to showcase these and highlight the experiences of women in these fields. The way India and its women will move into a post-Covid-19 world will be key to social and economic empowerment.” Hence, there needs to be more awareness about the sector and the showcasing of existing women in manufacturing in order to inspire young women. We hear of too many stories that the manufacturing industry being full of men and therefore, is no place for women, but this needs to be quashed. The manufacturing industry is as diverse in roles as compared to any other industry in the world and it needs women to bring a fresh dynamic to the table.
If you are a manufacturing company or a woman in manufacturing, click to participate in The SheMaker Summit, Season 2 for women in manufacturing on March 4th, 2021.