Empowering women in the construction equipment sector

Mr. Vijay kumar, Mr. Kamal Kumar Ghosh from IESC and Mr. Jayakumar. C from Komatsu India along with Women participants

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], August 4: The construction equipment sector has made considerable strides, but machinery operation remains predominantly a male bastion in India. Empowering women in traditionally male-dominated sectors is crucial to fostering gender equality and inclusivity in the workforce. 

As industry associates, both Larsen & Toubro Limited (L&T) and Komatsu India Private Limited (KIPL) are partnering with the Infrastructure Equipment Skill Council (IESC) to enhance skills in India through various developmental programs. 

In a significant move towards equality, Komatsu India has collaborated with IESC to train women in excavator operations. As a pioneering initiative to boost women’s empowerment in the construction equipment industry, Komatsu India completed the training successfully in July 2023, positioning themselves as front-runners in India. 

This highlights their commendable efforts in empowering women and their positive impact on the industry and society at large.

Overcoming Gender Stereotypes: Historically, societal norms have deterred women from pursuing careers in the construction equipment industry. However, a paradigm shift is now visible, with fourteen courageous women stepping forward to undertake training as excavator operators. 

This exemplifies the undeniable truth that gender should never define the boundaries of one’s capabilities or career aspirations.

Skill Development and Training: The batch of women excavator operators have completed intensive training and are now equipped with technical know-how and safety skills. We’ve designed this program to foster their active involvement and provide equal opportunities for career growth. By adhering to the IESC syllabus, we ensured that the training aligned with industry benchmarks.

Building a Diverse Workforce: Komatsu India acknowledges the richness of diversity, understanding that women bring unique insights and refined skills to the realms of job sites and excavator operations. The inclusion of women cultivates a more collaborative work environment, fostering a culture of mutual respect and cooperation.

Inspiring the Next Generation: Female excavator operators stand as inspiring role models for young girls with similar aspirations. They powerfully exemplify that societal norms should not limit one’s pursuit of their passion, thus, instilling confidence in future generations.

Vijay Kumar, CEO and Head of IESC, extends his heartfelt gratitude to all trainers who have contributed to the realisation of this initiative. The core concept of IESC is to bolster ‘Skill India’, given that each year sees the production of one lakh construction equipment. Given that each piece of this equipment necessitates at least two operators, there is an annual demand for nearly two lakh operators in India.

Testimonial from a few participants during the training period:

The sight of the colossal machine initially filled me with skepticism and anxiety. I believed that women couldn’t find a place in the construction sector. However, the training not only dispelled my doubts but also exceeded all expectations, shattering preconceived barriers. The quality of the facilities and trainers was exceptional. This program fostered within me a newfound confidence. I received invaluable support from Komatsu, which was a truly empowering experience. I am now fully confident in my ability to operate an excavator comfortably and with ease. I am confident that this will pave the way for many other women, encouraging them to step forward and demonstrate their skills. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this training to any woman seeking professional growth in the construction equipment industry.

At the outset, I was somewhat daunted by the task of operating an excavator, operating under the belief that such tasks were beyond the scope of women. I can now unequivocally state that this training has been one of the most enlightening experiences I’ve ever had. Learning that we were the first batch of women excavator operators was a revelation. We urge Komatsu to continue providing such training for women in the future. We intend to strongly advocate for this training among the women of our hometown when we return. The trainers were not only knowledgeable but also displayed a profound passion for empowering women. This training served as an excellent platform for building a supportive network of peers.

Women breaking through as successful excavator operators represent significant strides in gender empowerment and workplace inclusivity. By defying stereotypes, they trigger a positive societal shift, fostering a more balanced future. Numerous participants from this batch were offered opportunities to work for Komatsu India, a move that further empowered these women and boosted their confidence.

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