Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) has taken a huge step towards gender equality at the workplace by hiring 11 women chemical engineers to work in the night shift as panel operators and shift-in-charge. Earlier, these positions were only held by men in BPCL’s operations department, which works 24×7, at the Mumbai and Kochi refineries.
These newly recruited women have received six months’ training, and will be responsible for not just operating the unit but also resolving issues, if any during the night shift.
The recruitment of these women is part of the operational reforms and statutory changes that have taken place at BPCL. Not only have steps been taken to ensure the safety of women staff during work hours, and ensuring their safe commute, washrooms have also been constructed and CCTV cameras have been installed in the premises for additional security.
With the Company ensuring the comfort and safety of the women in every possible way, and the family members of these women employees lending their wholehearted support, the social stigma attached to women working night shifts should gradually wane.
For a few years now, the Ministry of Labour has been trying to get the state governments to bring about necessary changes in their laws so as to permit women to work night shifts. The objective is to ensure that more women participate in the nation’s workforce and also receive equal job opportunities. However, only the information technology (IT) and IT-enabled services (ITES) sectors have been liberal in this regard so far.