Women Empowerment in Factories - a workshop was organised by FICCI – The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry in association with Walmart and Swasti on 15th March 2019 at Taj Vivanta Hotel, MG Road, Bangalore. The workshop focused on Women in Factories (WiF) Program Enriching Lives and Improving Business.
The inaugural session was addressed by Ms Lakshmi Ishwar, Immediate Past Chairperson, FICCI Ladies Organisation & Director, Cerebral Consultancy Private Limited.
Keynote address by Ms Sridevi Kalavakolanu, Senior Director – Responsible Sourcing Business Enablement, Asia, and Walmart spoke about Walmart initiatives to support women in the industry and business.
Mr Ullas Kamath, Chairman, FICCI Karnataka State Council & Joint Managing Director, Jyothy Laboratories Limited spoke about Jyoti Lab’s employs women in its operational functional areas except in field sales area. The women employees always excelled in production & achieve targeted production scale, whereas the field sales functional area mostly men dominated is a step behind the production.
Mr Joseph Julian K G, Director, Swasti Health Catalyst, Bangalore spoke about the Swasti Health Catalyst training the women in life skills development and improved lifestyles of working women.
Panel discussion on “A Perspective On Women Empowerment Programs In Factories” was Chaired by, Ms Sridevi Kalavakolanu, Senior Director – Responsible Sourcing Business Enablement, Asia, Walmart and key Speakers were Mr Prasad V Desponded, AGM Training & Development, IDEPL, Bangalore ; Ms Vasudha Vasuki,Managing Director, Shell Apparels Private Limited, Bangalore; Mr Balram J Menon, Founder & Managing Director, Adroit Facilities Management Services Pvt Ltd, Chennai ; Ms Ruparani, Founder President, Federation Of Indian Women Entrepreneurs(FIWE).
The technical session was on “Women in Factories Program, The Journey towards Personal Growth for Women Workers” presentation by Mr Shankar AG, Swasti Health Catalyst, and Bangalore about:
• Improved self-esteemed and efficiency.
• Improved health and wellbeing.
• Increased income and savings.
• Improved prospects for career growth and development.
• Improved ownership towards the factory.
Another technical session was on “Impact of Women in Factories Program on the Business, A Study Tuffs Labor Lab” – presented by Ms Nithya B - Swasti Health Catalyst, Bangalore. She presented on:
• Improved productivity and efficiency.
• Reduced retention.
• Reduced absenteeism and late coming.
• Improved interpersonal relationships.
• Reduced out-of-pocket expenses.
• Improved policies and system.
• Built internal capacity.
Learning from the workshop is:
• The motive of this workshop was to promote women empowerment and bring a light of hope for working women.
• We as postgraduate management students found it more useful in perspective of corporate life.
• We came across so many real-life examples of working women who had a very hard time in their professional life.
• We also came to know how an organisation called Swasti made an attempt to look up for those women and helped through training which was a life-changing step.
• We got to see corporate leaders, entrepreneurs, CEO and such great personalities in this session.
• It was a glimpse of how corporate people behave, talk, their attire and the etiquettes they follow in their professional life.
• As a girl, it was a proud moment when great personalities despite gender came forward to address the potentiality of women.
• Being in the city, I believed that we are in an era where girls are exposed to everything and they got to choose their own decisions.
• But this workshop made me realise that it is not the case everywhere.
• Girls and women of the rural and low-class background are still struggling; there is no space for women empowerment there.
• We believe that transformation cannot happen in a single day, we as a whole need to work on women empowerment only then we can be successful.
• Conclude by saying that only thoughts and words will not work for implementation rather we need to act on it.
It was a great opportunity for us to attend this workshop and we are thankful to Dr. A Prakash, Professor, and IIBS who collaborated with FICCI and extended us this platform where we came across wonderful corporate personalities and learned about women.