Increasing labour force participation of women in non-traditional sectors
Name of contact: Kanta Singh
Position of contact: State Project Head
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A survey undertaken by the Annual Survey of Industries (ASI) in 2013 revealed that Haryana is the 18th worst state in terms of percentage of women’s participation in the organized industrial sector. Not only does it rank among the bottom four states but considerably lags behind the national average.
In order to address some of these challenges, the Jindal Stainless Steel Lifestyle Limited (JSL) initiative of UNDP and Government of Haryana under project Disha promotes mobilization and skilling of women and girls from the rural areas of state, for employment in a sector which was hitherto unknown and unreachable for women. The skilling programme is a one-of-its kind public-private partnership that aims to equip young women with the skills and knowledge needed to enhance their employability and help them secure jobs in the steel industry.
• A perfect example of Public Private Partnership in which roles and responsibilities are clearly-defined. While project Disha mobilised, motivated women to take up the challenge and paid for initial training; JSL provided facilities, premises, equipment for training. JSL also co-developed the curriculum, spared supervisors and coordinated the project within the factory complex. JSL also provided placement to trained women that helped in creating trust between the project and women
• The mobilization was difficult for batch 1. However, as the pilot was being implemented, word got spread. Women from neighboring villages came to JSL factory and asked to be enrolled for upcoming batch.
• Potential of scaling up is enormous. Future programs could be easily run at factory-based centers or outside, in other states. Jindal could also leverage capacity through its own sister companies and could discuss the prospects with both JSW and JSPL.
• A well-designed and implemented skill training program for women with guaranteed placement leads to a ‘chain-effect’ in the villages, resulting in the pro-active application for the training
What has changed in the organization thanks to the implementation of this solution?
• Four batches out of a total of predefined 6 have been trained in JSL plant in Rohad, resulting in 95 girls trained and placed (100% retention)
• The current expectation is to train 305 girls and employ approximately 200 going beyond the original plan of 180 trained (95 hired).
• The successful integration of women in a male-dominated labor force and male-dominated industry is a breakthrough. The integration of the girls in the labor force of JSL has had a very positive effect in the surrounding villages. After the success of the first batch, mobilizing girls for subsequent batches was very smooth.
• Given its status as the first ever training program for women in the stainless steel sector in India, this opens up job roles for women in a sector that has traditionally not been seen as a career option
• Capacity building for ITIs and Government Polytechnics has been undertaken simultaneously
• The project no longer has to spend any effort or money to mobilize women as JSL has a waiting list for next three batches
• This pilot has helped women become self-reliant and raise their living standard
• The women working with JSL have become role models in surrounding villages and have inspired other women to step out of their homes and aspire to get trained and employed
This has been a lifetime opportunity for women in the state as they had never imagined that they will get to learn new technologies and explore opportunities for growth.
Women-related programmes need not use a welfare approach but gender and development lens for sustainable impact. Success of this pilot is a clear indication that women are willing to work in all sectors and in difficult conditions, provided they are given an enabling environment to function.”