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Breaking Gender Stereotypes: Tata Steel deploys all-women team in Noamundi Iron Mine

Written by The Optimist

Women are known for being creative, hardworking, a multi-tasking lot and much more. Women are changing lives, too, as mothers, sisters and colleagues and in every other relationship. It is now no secret that women can contribute to every field of work.

And here is one company that believes in this and has taken a leap to boost gender diversity and recruited 10 women officers from across disciplines — including mining, electrical, mechanical and mineral processing — as a pioneering effort at its iron mine!

Tata Steel has added yet another feather in its cap in its pursuit of excellence in gender diversity by deploying these women mining engineers in all the shifts at its Noamundi Iron Mine.

 

Felicitation of women at mines

 

Tata Steel is the first company in India to have taken this step and the Ore, Mines & Quarries (OMQ) Division becomes the first division in Tata Steel to deploy women in all shifts with effect from September 1, 2019. Earlier, on April 1, the company had started two shifts at its JAmshedpur plant shop floor for its women employees. A total of 52 female employees were deployed at its coke plant and electrical repair shop floor in Shifts A and B between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm throughout the week.

In line with the company’s target of having 20% women officers in the workforce by 2025 and recent modifications in the law, the Human Resources Management Division and the Raw Materials Division have undertaken an initiative, called ‘Women @ Mines’. This initiative will focus on four aspects — communication, amenities, recruitment of women officers and non-officers, and Tejaswini 2.0. This comes after the central government’s gazetted announcement on January 29, 2019, of amending the Mines Act, 1952.

 

VPRM with Pratixa Kher

 

All the norms stipulated by the Directorate-General of Mines Safety (DGMS) are being adhered to to ensure effective deployment of women in the mines. A written consent from each woman employee has been obtained prior to the deployment. Adequate facilities and safeguards regarding occupational safety, security and health of the female employees have been considered and arranged for. A slew of measures, including sanitary vending machines, canteens for women, rest-rooms, deployment of women in groups of not less than three in a shift, female security guards, transportation facilities and more are being put in place to aid the process. A set of robust security measures, including GPS and CCTV monitoring, have been implemented, too.

At present, the deployment is for the officer, non-officer and contract employee categories only. In the first phase, the mining engineers and plant engineers have been deployed in a few key sections of the Noamundi Mine and this will be progressively extended to all areas.

 

VPRM with contract worker

 

Tata Steel is committed to diversity and inclusion and will continue to invest in creating new support structures, systems and processes to enable this. The entire ecosystem is being developed to make life comfortable for women working in mines. Deployment of women security personnel in the same shift has also been planned. The OMQ division will soon launch ‘Tejaswini 2.0’ — an initiative to provide technical training to unskilled women workers and enable them to work in core jobs at mines. Deployment of women drivers, sanitation staff and canteen dispensation teams are also in the offing.

 

‘For diversity & wider talent pool’

‘We’re extremely happy to deploy women in mines. We respect the uniqueness of individuals to create a diverse and inclusive workforce by having access to a wider talent pool. We’re enhancing our facilities to recruit more women in all sections of our mines. There’s a clear business case for employing women in mines as it leads to generation of new innovative ideas and perspectives’

— Arun Misra, Vice-President, Raw Materials, Tata Steel

 

MOSAIC — for gender equality & more

Tata Steel thrives on a culture of respect, inclusion and diversity, making significant progress in the field of gender equality and strategizing for far more. Its pioneering employee welfare measures are a matter of record. The company’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programme started taking shape with the launch of a diversity group, called ‘MOSAIC’, in June 2015. MOSAIC facilitates diversity of gender, hiring and inclusion of persons with sisabilities (PwDs), LGBT-plus and more. MOSAIC focuses on five pillars — infrastructure, sensitisation, recruitment, retention and development and celebrations.

In keeping with the changing times, the company has introduced several path-breaking policies, practices and initiatives for various segments of the workforce, such as five-day workweeks, menstrual leave, paternity leave, adoption leave and satellite office operation, among others.

 

In 2018, the company had launched its corporate brand campaign, #WeAlsoMakeTomorrow  (www.wealsomaketomorrow.com).

To know more, visit www.tatasteel.com

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The Optimist

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