Indian Welding Society (IWS) and Fronius India have jointly organized an all-women online program on “Celebrating Independence from Stereotype” with the support of National Skills Network (NSN) on 14th August 2020.
The event was attended by more than 200 participants across the country. The event elucidated on the theme – participation of women in engineering, especially in welding technology. The panelists for the event were Mrs. A. Santhakumari, Addl. General Manager, Welding Research Institute; Dr. Renu N. Gupta, Sr. DGM, L & T Mumbai; Dr. S. Malarvizhi Professor, Annamalai University, and Dr. Bijayani Panda Associate Professor CMRIT, Bengaluru. Dr.Madhuri Dubey, Founder of National Skills Network, introduced the panelists. The program was moderated by the Fronius India women employees’ team – Ms. Apoorva Kulshreshtha, Ms. Geeta Kshirsagar, and Ms. Shreya Kulkarni.
The panel discussion clearly brought out various hurdles faced by women who opt for welding as a career. Example, as a welder, welding machine operator, welding engineer, etc. The panelists shared their experience and problems faced by the women technologists, who excelled in their domain was aimed to give confidence to the younger women who aspire to enter the welding field.
Sharing her views, Mrs. Santhakumari has emphasized that women can take-up the challenging jobs in welding by citing an analogy with making patterns in “Rangoli”. She further said, “Like Rangoli, welding is also an art which can be practiced easily by women with proper training. In today’s flattened hierarchy the so-called “Glass –Ceiling” has become a non-entity. I expect more women to take up welding as a profession as technology has improved.”
During her talk, Dr. Renu Gupta stressed that the early stages of the career are very crucial, and remaining committed to the job and nurturing the focus to achieve greater heights will definitely help. She further added, “Once one has proven the skills and capability as well as commitment for the career then the growth will be faster.”
Professor Malarvizhi said that due to the advent of emerging technologies all branches of engineering like robotics, electronics, IT, electrical, metallurgy, and mechanical Engineers can play a role in developing welding technology. She added, “the facilities available at CEMAJOR, Annamalai University can be used by the budding engineers especially the women engineers to take up various R&D projects in welding.”
Dr. Bijayani Panda expressed confidence that since women are excelling in multi-skilling, they can easily adapt to the new environment without much of hassle. She also spoke about how women can juggle between home and office work.
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Mr. V V Kamath, Managing Director of Fronius India Private Limited summarized the proceedings and was wishing that there would be a women wing in IWS. Mr. N Rajasekaran, Hon. Secretary of IWS spoke about the role of IWS in providing training and refresher training for women so that they can take up welding as a career. He also stressed that the companies should provide adequate facilities for womenfolk for their privacy, which will be a booster for adding more and more women to join the welding field.