Whenever one walks into an automobile workshop, it is expected to see women either at the receptionists’ desk or the back office. While these women have been excelling at these roles for years, it is still a rare sight to find ladies working on vehicles in the shop-floor or involved in technical aspects of automobile service. With a drive named “Pink Collars”, Mahindra & Mahindra started an initiative to promote recruitment of women in core productive roles at automobile workshops.
The program encourages channel partners to tie up with Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and impart up-to-date industrial knowledge through the company’s expert trainers, provide automotive aggregates to support practical training and make the ITI students industry-ready. Special recruitment drives are conducted for girl students at these ITIs by Mahindra’s authorized dealers to identify and recruit female talent.
Mahindra kicked off the first batch of Pink Collars in October 2018 and trained 22 girl students selected from various ITIs in districts of western Maharashtra at the Mahindra Institute of Learning Excellence (MILE), Igatpuri. At this high-tech state-of-the-art training center, they underwent a free-of-cost 10-day residential training program that brushed up their theoretical basics and imparted practical skill development in automotive service and repair. Coming from the ITI trades of Motor Mechanic Vehicle, Diesel Mechanic and Automobile Diploma, the girls were quick in grasping concepts of modern automobile technology and were given hands-on training on Mahindra’s range of vehicles. All the recruits went on to work as trainee technicians at Mahindra’s authorized workshops.
Working at Mahindra authorized workshop after participating in Pink Collars initiative
After completing one year at a Mahindra authorized Workshop in Pune, one of the Pink Collars recruits – Kavita Koli says “I was always fascinated with cars when I saw my father, who is a driver, work on his vehicle. I am very thankful to the trainers at MILE and my mentors in the workshop for helping me realize my dream of working on automobiles.” Kavita, who hails from Jalgaon district in Maharashtra, is one the 170 females who have broken gender stereotypes in the automobile industry by joining the core productive workforce at Mahindra’s authorized workshops pan India in the last financial year.
Mahindra & Mahindra has been scaling up the drive of inducting female employees at its authorized workshops this year with inclusion-friendly policies for its channel partners. The Indian auto major has waived off the technical training fee of women dealer employees and encourages dealers to recruit women as one-third of their trainees.
The Pink Collars initiative has been well-received by Mahindra’s channel partners and they are soon going to flag-off a 100% women-run workshop outlet in urban Jaipur.