'Auto companies need to become inclusive in order to attract talent': Shradha Suri Marwah

The Chairman of Subros highlighted that while providing safety to the remains a matter of hygiene, an atmosphere of inclusiveness should be developed irrespective of gender, faith, region, amongst others.

By Shahkar Abidi calendar 10 Mar 2023 Views icon2850 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

Even as Shradha Suri Marwah, the Chairman and Managing Director of Subros remains a strong proponent for increasing women's participation in the workforce, she emphasises that human beings should not be boxed into any gender stereotypes, as even men, especially those in their 50s, are increasingly looking to take a backseat in their careers to care for their aging parents.

Offering insights into the role played by employers in increasing women's workforce participation, Marwah highlighted that while providing safety remains a matter of hygiene, an atmosphere of inclusiveness should be developed irrespective of gender, faith, region, amongst others. "The mindset has to change," she adds, emphasising the need for a non-judgemental work environment as biases need to be tackled.

"The talent is scarce, and it is not gender dependent," Marwah continues, before adding that companies should be able to embrace people for their skills and talent. "The organizations have to mature as they have no choice, as companies run on talent and not on men or women," she further adds, explaining that there is a need to complete the overhaul of the education system right from the kindergarten stage.

Marwah, who is also VP at the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA), was speaking at a virtual webinar organized by Autocar Professional to mark International Women's Day, and the topic of discussion was "Paving the way for higher inclusion." She is an economics graduate from Delhi University with a Master's in International Marketing and Information Technology from London, UK. and  joined Subros in 2000 after a short stint with Six Continents, UK, and Reebok India.

While acknowledging the challenges faced by women during certain phases of their lives, such as marriage, raising children, and managing families, she highlighted that the situation has drastically improved in recent years when compared to earlier. Also, structural changes like the ability to work from home, automation, software technologies, etc., have made it easier for people to do this. She believes that going forward, nothing should be able to stop the auto industry from reaching a 50:50 gender ratio in terms of its workforce.

As of March 31, 2022, the total strength of women permanent employees was 83 out of a total of 2647, the company's latest annual report suggests.

Marwah said that when she first started out in her career, she was one of only a few women, including at Subros. At that time, the automotive field was mostly thought to be a male-dominated field, especially in manufacturing units where a lot of work was done by hand. Additionally, she stressed that women should be left to choose their own calling instead of imposing limitations on which fields they should enter and which ones they shouldn't.

In order to empower women for self-entrepreneurship and develop skills for financial independence, Subros says it is running a skill development center at a village in Manesar. Several women from nearby villages have been trained and given facilities by the company.

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