Electronics manufacturing in India has been growing significantly. According to a recent report, the country’s EMS sector has registered a 23% cumulative annual growth rate over the past 5 years. With the government giving a big push to Make in India, new opportunities are emerging across manufacturing sectors. The pandemic has induced reverse migration of outstation workers, forcing some manufacturers to rethink the hiring strategy. However, the industry is currently facing a skills gap as a large chunk of the talented women workforce remains untapped.
More and more women’s workforce representation, participation, and involvement are what the electronics manufacturing industry needs: to innovate, improve production capabilities and quality. Many industry leaders believe recruiting and retaining female talent in assembly, management, and leadership roles can reap big rewards. Besides delivering a strong work ethic and long-term company loyalty, the all-women production floor offers another distinct advantage- superior manual dexterity necessary for high-precision electronics assembly.
Empowering the female workforce with the necessary tools and training will help manufacturers to unleash their full potential. It’s also equally important to create a safe working environment where their unique strengths can thrive. Therefore, right and fair pay, health benefits, and flexibility are key. Making effective use of critical native skills is poised to give the EMS industry a big boost for talent. These skills are innate and can be traced to our unique lifestyles and cultural upbringing, where hand and finger skills are encouraged and groomed from a young age.
For instance, critical operations like scope soldering require the person to solder the components under 10X magnification. The challenge isn’t just about soldering under a magnifier but focus and precise hand-eye coordination, a trait that seems natural among women. Other operations require the handling of minute components (size up to 0.5mm). Women seem to possess finger dexterity that can be effectively tapped to provide them better opportunities.
While women undergo various transformations in life, organizations need to elevate them in their every transition. These women are leading the way through their work in overcoming some of the greatest challenges like working at lower-level jobs, getting low wage/earnings with less bargaining power in the sector compared to their male counterparts, family and motherhood, fewer leadership opportunities, etc. Research says that the median salary for women is roughly 22% lower than the median salary for men.
Offering growth irrespective of gender and upskilling opportunities will inspire more women to join the manufacturing workforce. Employers can attract and retain women employees by driving an overall culture of care and concern, creating an ecosystem of safety, defining clear career pathways, and encouraging women to participate in the organization’s decision-making process, thereby giving them a chance to perform and grow.
Manufacturing industries are striving hard to implement these and lead their way to a more productive and gender-balanced team. Technology and globalization have transformed job opportunities in manufacturing industries into highly skilled professions. Electronic manufacturers are likely taking a different approach in recruiting, retaining, and helping women advance fast track in the workplace. While electronics units focus on empowering women, they believe that when women are among leaders in the organizations, there is a wider lens of strategic thinking, diverse perspective in decision making, and can identify innovative solutions faster.
Bolstering the change in the mindset of many electronic manufacturers, the women workforce norms and policies can play a crucial role in improving perception outside the industry. It’s time to unlock the potential of the women workforce in the electronics manufacturing industry by encouraging more female students to pursue their careers in this sector and helping to onboard the next generation women workforce and groom them for future leadership.
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