Ola’s all-women factory: a huge step in the right direction
Friday September 17, 2021, By Diversity Digest
Ola Futurefactory, which will have 100 percent women operating the facility, is the latest to join the group of companies in India, leading path-breaking initiatives to boost women workforce participation.
Ola’s initiative has many firsts to its credit. Located in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, Ola Futurefactory, the e-two wheeler plant, which had its first batch of women employees arriving this week, will employ over 10,000, working alongside 3,000 AI-driven robots. It will also be the world’s largest women-only factory and the only all-women automotive manufacturing facility globally. Ola Electric has invested significantly to train and upskill its all-women workforce in core manufacturing skills, as they will be involved in the entire production of every vehicle manufactured at Ola FutureFactory.
More women-driven initiatives
Companies across sectors have realized that employing more women in their workforce does not just mean economic empowerment but also has business benefits due to a diverse skill set.
FMCG biggie Mondelez’s factory in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, has almost 50 percent of women, hailing from nearby areas, employed in the setup. Mondelez takes special pride in the fact that the women in the factories. The women, who are high school graduates without any industrial experience, have been trained to operate machines with confidence and efficiency.
Mondelez has also been identified among the Best Companies for Women in India by Avtar, in association with US-based Working Mother in its annual gender analytics exercise.
A few months ago, food chain KFC announced its second all-women branch in Hyderabad, after the first was launched some years ago in Darjeeling in West Bengal. Declaring it an initiative to boost gender parity and empowering them at the grassroots, the chain has also provided an all-out women service team with women delivery executives. Similarly, expanding and strengthening its supply chain across the country, e-commerce player Flipkart has worked towards creating a last-mile reach by employing more women, apart from people with disabilities.
Skilling the mantra
As demonstrated by Mondelez and Ola, skilling and training of women are a win-win for both parties– organizations and women.
Literacy alone may not guarantee employment for women. Studies indicate that over 75 million women will join the workforce in the coming years, making skilling imperative. The use of technology and targeted upskilling centers for women would enable their participation. Initiatives like TechSaksham that aims to train women extensively in AI bring together the aspirations of women and the required skill sets.
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