All the jobs that were once considered to be fit for men alone are now being successfully performed by women. Tata Steel has become the first company in India to employ women in all the shifts in underground mines.
Following the scrapping of Section 46 of the Mines Act, 1952 a couple of months back, women are now allowed to be employed in mines, even in night shifts. So, Tata Steel went ahead and took the lead in breaking down gender stereotypes by allowing its women workers at its Noamundi iron mine to work in all shifts, including the night shift. It has hired 10 women engineers across disciplines —mining, electrical, mechanical and mineral processing.
Its ore, mines and quarries (OMQ) division is the first division in the Company to allow women to work in all shifts with effect from 1 September, 2019.
Naturally, now the Company is also taking steps to ensure that the mines are women-friendly in terms of regular surveillance (GPS and CCTV monitoring), women safety guards and drivers, availability of sanitary napkins, rest rooms, canteens, at least three women together in a shift, as well as safe transportation facilities.
Reinforcing its commitment to gender equality, the Company will be running an employment drive to hire more women.
To realise its goal of having 20 per cent women officials in the workforce in the next five years, it has taken advantage of the recent amendments in the law. Its human resource management division in collaboration with its raw material division has launched the ‘Women @ Mines’ initiative, which will focus on communication, amenities, recruitment of women, and Tejaswini 2.0. The ‘Tejaswini 2.0’ programme provides technical training to unskilled women employees so that they become capable of taking up core jobs in the mines. The women are being employed only after taking their written consent.
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