In a strategic decision, engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has recruited 22 percent women at trainee level across its major businesses in 2020, up 8 percent over the previous year.
Figures shared by L&T, suggest a rise in the intake of women at the level of graduate engineer trainees (GETs), and post-graduate engineer trainees (PGETs).
"There are now more and more women on the shop floor, project sites and offices. L&T is at the forefront to create an enabling environment that offers women opportunities to try new things, to push boundaries, to seek new challenges to succeed and make their mark," its CEO & MD S N Subrahmanyan told PTI.
The company data shows a steady increase in the share of women trainees.
While in 2018, 12 per cent of women were hired, the number shot up to 14 per cent in 2019, and 22 per cent last year.
L&T recruited about 1,100 graduate and post-graduate engineer trainees for deployment across businesses in 2020.
Traditionally, the frontline jobs in engineering, construction & procurement projects and hi-tech manufacturing sectors have been male dominated. These projects involve working in tough conditions resulting in a lack of conscious efforts by the industry to attract women on project sites and shop floor, as per the industry players.
"Well mindful that our strength lies in our differences, not similarities, we have made significant strides to understand, synthesise and collaborate for more and more of our women to rise and find their place under the sun," said Subrahmanyan.
With the company leadership taking several "focused initiatives to restore and sustain a favourable gender ratio", there has been a significant "shift in the mindset" which in the past formed the basis for relying on "male-dominated professions," he said.
The company has also launched ‘Winspire', an in-house initiative aimed to spread awareness and greater acceptance for diversity and inclusion in the company.
While agreeing that L&T still has a "long way to go to achieve true gender diversity and inclusiveness", Subrahmanyan said that the company's foray into the world of technology and digitalisation has helped it hugely in its quest for diversity and inclusion.
Even as the company has emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is prepared to take bold and innovative steps to widen and deepen diversity and inclusion across most of its businesses, he added.