JSW Paints currently operates an entire production line at its Vasind, Maharashtra plant with an all-women team. This semi-automated line, which manufactures wood finish paints, is entirely managed by female employees, from processing to packaging the entire range.
The company is now actively working towards transforming another production line at its Vijayanagar plant in Karnataka into an all-women team operation.
In a significant move towards greater inclusivity, JSW Paints is also increasing its recruitment of women in frontline roles and customer relationship positions, primarily for its retail market operations in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.
While contemporary workplaces no longer assign job roles based on gender, there are certain positions that historically had fewer women or were considered male-dominated. JSW Paints is committed to challenging these stereotypes and promoting gender diversity in all aspects of its operations.
Sundaresan Arumbakkam, joint MD & CEO, JSW Paints, shares with HRKatha, “Our endeavours extend beyond merely emphasising diversity; we aim to make it functional in domains where it has traditionally been lacking, especially within the paint industry.”
“We are overturning historical trends and opening doors for women in areas they have not conventionally pursued such as frontline sales and manufacturing operations,” shares Arumbakkam.
To ensure the seamless orientation of its women employees in the male-dominated roles, the company organises workshops and orientation sessions for them.
“Our endeavours extend beyond merely emphasising diversity; we aim to make it functional in domains where it has traditionally been lacking, especially within the paint industry.”
Sundaresan Arumbakkam, joint MD & CEO, JSW Paints
JSW Paints has adopted the JSW group’s leadership development programme JSW Springboard to identify high-performing women employees and create a career growth pathway for them.
“We organise workshops and orientation sessions to ensure our women employees are seamlessly oriented to take on these responsibilities. We also provide all additional care and facilities needed for employing women at all locations as guided by the government and other regulatory authorities,” reveals Arumbakkam.
This has also helped the company provide access to a broader and richer talent pool. “Their dedication, punctuality, and earnestness are evident, serving as additional affirmative points. However, the most significant advantage lies in our ability to tap into a significantly larger talent reservoir,” asserts Arumbakkam.
When asked about the business objective behind having more women employees across functions, Arumbakkam says, “JSW Paints aims to create a work culture that promotes performance and inclusivity. We are building a passionate pool of future leaders with focus on diversity, growth aptitude and empowered teams.”
For hiring women talent in its manufacturing plants, the company typically seeks individuals with a certain level of technical skills with diplomas, and those who have acquired technical skills from specialised training institutes.
About hiring women talent in sales roles, Arumbakkam shares, “What we value most is their enthusiasm for engaging in sales activities, venturing into the market, and interacting with customers. This particular disposition is what we aim to attract and have successfully done so.”
With sales roles including dealer/distribution/retail networks all across – even in remote areas, employee safety and wellbeing is a significant aspect. Hence, the company provides all additional care and facilities needed for employing women at all locations as guided by the government and other regulatory authorities to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
“In new areas like front line sales which need field work, we have commenced with Metro & Tier 1 cities and based on the experience here, we will prepare for roles in other cities and upcountry areas in the future with adequate safeguards,” shares Arumbakkam.
In the coming years, the company plans to increase its gender diversity from 5 per cent to 8 per cent across functions.
“Our aim is to demonstrate how women can excel in unconventional domains. By doing so, we hope to stimulate change in the broader industry landscape, encouraging similar organisations to embrace diversity. We aspire to be a model of thoughtfulness, showcasing the potential of women in previously overlooked areas. This vision guides our steps as we continue to progress and build upon these efforts,” concludes Arumbakkam.