'EV wave encourages more women to take charge in the automotive industry': Suman Mishra
A gender-balanced workforce isn’t just good for women, it’s good for the overall business says Suman Mishra, CEO of Mahindra Last Mile Mobility.
Breaking all kinds of patterns, the electric vehicle space is emerging as a career opportunity for women within the automotive industry, which was once a man's only domain, said Suman Mishra, CEO of Mahindra Last Mile Mobility.
"One notable improvement that the wave of electrification has brought is the requirement for software engineers, which is paving the way for more women professionals within the industry. More focus on system integration and technology than traditional mechanical work is acting as the main driving force," she said during a panel discussion at Autocar Professional's International Women's Day special webinar held on March 9.
According to Mishra, such job opportunities also underlining the fact that a gender-balanced workforce isn’t just good for women, it’s good for the overall business.
Although the number is still low, Mishra strongly believes that the rising preference for women professionals can help establish a better gender balance in the workplace in the growing EV sector as compared to the traditional automotive industry.
Explaining how women can break ceilings in this evolving space, she said that for any new industry, it takes the first few to get on top, break the barrier and then the tide of waves follows. “As the percentage at the top starts increasing, the percentage of women overall will also increase. And we can easily narrow the gap with the help of electrification and software,” Mishra highlighted.
Citing the example of Mary Barra, who is the CEO of General Motors, Mishra highlighted that women have already ventured into leadership roles of legacy auto companies which makes easier for them to expand or open new ventures into the booming electric mobility market due to less complexity involved with electric vehicles compared to the ICE based vehicles.
“The percentage of representation of women in the senior management or boards is directly correlated to the performance of the company. There are a lot of women CEOs in automotive like Mary barra which has allowed the new generation of women to not perceive that there are barriers anywhere. As a leader of an organization, it is my responsibility to make sure that the female workforce in my company feel safe and represented,” Mishra said.
Moreover, she also emphasised that simply hiring more women doesn’t solve the issue of gender equity in the workplace. “Now’s the time to take deliberate steps towards building a more inclusive environment. More than policy we need to have a culture of inclusion within our organizations. From a business perspective, this will also make inroads towards a more safer and unbiased workplace,” Mishra highlighted.
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