Women can now be seen working on the shop floor at Cummins’ Megasite in Phaltan, India after 7 p.m. Cummins India is working hard to increase opportunities for women.
For much of the past year, workers on the second shift at Tata Cummins Limited Plant 2 in Phaltan have witnessed something rarely seen on a shop floor in India after 7 p.m.
Women are now working from 2 to 10 p.m. in the plant at Cummins’ Megasite, about two hours southeast of Pune. They normally are not allowed to work past 7 p.m. but Tata Cummins is one of a select number of manufacturers given permission by the government to allow women to work the second shift.
The plant has taken a number of steps to help women who want to work that shift, appointing female security guards at the facility, ensuring safety while traveling to and from the plant, providing self-defense training and more. In some cases, Company officials even met with the parents of job candidates to dispel their fears about working at the plant.
“Getting permission from the government to have women work in the second shift was a major breakthrough,” said Ashwath Ram, Tata Cummins JV Leader. “This is the next step in our continued pursuit to have more women representation in the workplace.”
Cummins leaders have been working hard to increase diversity from the shop floor through the professional ranks, and then to leverage the power of diversity to improve Company performance. Their efforts have been noticed by the news media in India.
“It’s good to have diverse people sitting around the table and thinking – people who are differently wired, (and) think differently,” Nagarajan Balanaga, Cummins India’s ABO Human Resources Leader, told The Times of India in 2012.
That particular story focused on the recruiting of people from different regions of the country to work at Cummins facilities. The Times, however, has also noted Cummins’ efforts to bring more women into the workforce in a separate piece.
The WILL Forum India, a forum for women in leadership, noticed too. It named Cummins one of five winners of its Best Employer for Women in Corporate India award at the fifth Women in Leadership Conference in Mumbai in October 2012.
The number of women in professional jobs at Cummins facilities in India has been increasing dramatically, from 4 percent in 2004 to 27.5 percent in 2011. Cummins India re-launched the Women’s Affinity Group and named Priyadarshini Gupta the business organization’s Diversity Leader.
“Being a woman, I feel deeply passionate about growing representation as well as growing women leaders at Cummins,” Gupta said. “I believe having a good mix of men and women both in the workplace and in leadership will benefit the Company.”
The Women’s Affinity Group has been working on a number of issues ranging from child care solutions to mentoring and coaching women with the potential to be leaders to helping women integrate their work life with their home life.
The Affinity Group has also set up meetings to work with the women on the second shift at Tata Cummins.
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