Fostering Shop Floor Diversity for Aspiring Engineers
Published on : Friday 01-12-2023
Sandvik Coromant partners with the Lila Poonawalla Foundation to deliver diversity and inclusion events.
Metal cutting and machine tools expert, Sandvik Coromant India, has hosted an event in collaboration with the Lila Poonawalla Foundation, a non-profit organisation helping young women in India to fulfil their career aspirations. At its site in Pune, Sandvik Coromant India hosted a group of students looking to work in engineering and offered its insight into the industry.
On 30, October 2023, 21 female students from the Lila Poonawalla Foundation visited Sandvik Coromant India for a discovery day. Lila Poonawala foundation, a charity that works towards the cause of promoting girls’ education and women empowerment by offering merit-cum-need based scholarship and skill-building programs, has been supporting women across India for 27 years.
As part of the event, the group of engineering students participated in two sessions. This included a session on industrial trends and the potential for women in engineering, led by Ajrel Shepherd, Vice President of Round Tools Production, Pune. During the session, Shepherd provided insights into the trends and opportunities for women in the field of engineering. He also shared a video on processing, production and manufacturing products, giving the participants a glimpse of the company's operations.
Ms Sarika Ramteke, customised Product Manager, Pune, conducted a session on breaking barriers, sharing motivational stories and inspiring videos, inspiring future female engineers.
Later, students received a tour of the shop floor, offering an insight into the day-to-day life of an engineer at Sandvik Coromant. There was also an opportunity to interact with members of the Sandvik Coromant India team while visiting the shop floor. Sandvik Coromant representatives included Mayur Wagh, Rahul Kashikar, Makarand Pataskar, Nitin Kand, Shashikant Gaikwad, conducted guided tours of areas of the shop floor, so students could learn more about skills required for a career in metal cutting.
During lunch, students interacted with the other Sandvik Coromant India senior management team members including Sunil Joshi, President Sales, Sandvik Coromant India, Sonali Mulay, Director and Head of Tools Production, along with CSR team members Vignesh Iyer, Deputy Manager Finance & CSR, and Roshni Acharya, CSR Specialist providing a more informal setting for discussions and learning.
Sandvik Coromant has established several initiatives to encourage diversity and inclusion at its Pune site. To make commuting to work safer for women, the organisation offers a specially hired bus equipped with a GPS tracking system to take workers to and from work. Once female workers reach the facility, they are escorted to their door by the security guard, and can also register that they have reached home safely through a digital app.
Since 2010, the production unit has supported employees with children with an onsite day care center. Open to any employee with a child aged up to six years old, the center acts as a vital support system for working parents. Children are cared for by a partnering childcare organisation, have access to onsite catering and are just moments away should their parents wish to visit them while on a shift break.
“As a company, we’re highly invested in creating a diverse workforce,” said Mr Kiran Acharya, MD and CFO at Sandvik Coromant India. “Hosting students from LPF helps us showcase the wealth of opportunities women have in manufacturing — whether that’s on the shop floor at our production unit, working with digital tools to design new products, or any other area of our value chain. It’s vital young women can see the possibilities that are out there for themselves, so they know what’s possible for their futures.
As part of its commitment to sustainable business, Sandvik Coromant aims to achieve one third female managers by 2030.