Women account for about 13% of engineers in the electrical division, 9% of those working on braking and suspension and about 7% in powertrain engine testing.
Maruti plans to step up hiring of women engineers in heading critical functions. India’s largest carmaker is now planning to increase the proportion of new women hires in engineering functions to 15% this fiscal from an average of 10% over the past three years.
The company has planned an increase of 33% in women engineering new hires over last year, compared with a 4% increase in total engineering new hires. Hiring women for R&D roles in a heavy engineering company has traditionally been a challenge. “We have broken that belief and positively enabled employment of women talent at Maruti Suzuki,” says Siddiqui.
“We are expanding our R&D team significantly and are looking to get the best possible talent-…more women are opting for these hardcore engineering functions (now) and they fit our requirement.”
Recruiting women, Siddiqui says, brings a certain balance and diversity in terms of population mix, versatility and value add. It has nothing to do with the labour unrest the company has faced recently.
Such new recruits also walk in with fire in their bellies. “I can prove that even girls can be efficient and effective testers,” says Deepti Mahra, a Graduate Engineer Trainee in the gasoline vehicles testing department.
Mahra, who has done her B-Tech in mechanical engineering from College Of Technology, Pantnagar, had been fascinated by automobiles since early childhood. So when it came to selecting a stream of study, mechanical engineering was the obvious choice.
Maruti hires over 95% of its Graduate Engineer Trainees from campuses such as National Institutes of Technology â€” including Kurukshetra, Hamirpur, Jalandhar, Jamshedpur, Durgapur, Jaipur, and Bhopal; BITS-Pilani, and Delhi College of Engineering (now Delhi Technological University). It recently also started hiring from women colleges such as Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology.