Continental India, an Automotive Technology company which also manufactures automotive components, has rolled out its CSR programme titled ‘Women for Manufacturing’ to mark the Company’s 150th anniversary. The programme is aimed at empowering and supporting women to opt for a career in manufacturing via various skill development programmes.
In collaboration with the NGO, Centum Foundation, Continental — the firm that develops pioneering technologies and services for sustainable and connected mobility of people and their goods — will implement a multi-year programme that will eventually build a sustainable model of skill development, empowerment, guidance, and placement support to help more women find a place in manufacturing. This will eventually benefit the sector and contribute to the greater good of the society.
Women are under-represented in the manufacturing space, which is dominated by men and considered unsuitable for women. The main reasons for this are lack of awareness, the sheer breadth of manufacturing across different industries and limited access to skill development programmes. Continental aims to nurture and inspire girls and women to better understand the manufacturing space, and gain access to resources and learning so that manufacturing can be considered as a career option.
At the inauguration of the programme organised virtually, Rainer Hetzer, head – human relations autonomous mobility and safety, and HR sponsor for Continental India, said, “At Continental, we are persistently working to ensure gender parity at the workplace, especially in areas underrepresented by women talent. Focused measures and topics including learning initiatives, sensitising programmes, mentoring, leadership development programmes, and equal pay are in place for women across different levels. Now is the time to apply the same goal for the larger society. Through the ‘Women for Manufacturing’ programme, we aim to create a sustainable ecosystem of skilled women force, creating more opportunities within the industry.”
Prashanth Doreswamy, head – Continental India, and managing director – Continental Automotive India, said, “Manufacturing continues to be a high-growth sector in India, and we need to build the right resource pool to match such an ambitious intent. ‘Women for Manufacturing’ is Continental’s commitment to prepare and mobilise untapped women talent, towards achieving a more gender-balanced manufacturing society.”
Under the initiative, ‘The STEP Ahead’ will provide transformative steps to accelerate growth for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Production. The first year of the program focuses on three target groups – high school girls, ITI students, and unemployed women from underprivileged sections of society. After phase-1 of the roll-out which includes Bengaluru and Gurgaon, the program will be extended to other industry hubs in a phased manner.
Awareness campaigns, curriculum development, certification programs, leadership development programs and plant tours are planned as part of skill development. The company also aims to create a two-way link between the industries/establishments and colleges, to utilise the trained students for internships and placements. The programme will also have associations with various governmental and non-governmental organisations and industry bodies as necessary.
Continent offers safe, efficient, intelligent, and affordable solutions for vehicles, machines, traffic and transportation, and has been present in India for almost 50 years. Its workforce of about 2,35,000 people is spread across 58 countries and markets.