‘Right skills, role models to drive women participation in workforce’: Continental India’s Shrawani Rai | Autocar Professional


While some of the key facets of the growing women’s participation are the evolving work environments, and conducive policies that enable women to increase their participation in the workforce, the right skill set, mentorship, and having the right role models are also critical to drive diversity in the industry, which is moving towards a 30 percent women-to-men ratio across verticals.

“I cannot stress enough on having the right skill, be it in any field – automotive – or a similar male-dominated industry. Therefore, it is about having access to higher education, constantly developing skills, upskilling, and reskilling, and that is what the need of the hour is,” said Shrawani Rai, Head, Engineering Platform & Ecosystem, Autonomous Mobility, Continental India.

Rai was a panellist at the Autocar Professional Women To Watch  webinar that discussed the way forward to augment diversity in the automotive industry.

“To stay relevant in the industry, it is important to focus on mentorship and guidance. Although we have several STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students coming out, only 14 percent of them translate to being scientists, engineers, and technologists in the real world,” she pointed out.

“With proper guidance, this can be influenced in a positive way,” Rai said, while adding that the need for role models is extremely critical to instil confidence in women to aim for the sky. “The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions could affect the confidence due to the lesser visibility of role models. Therefore, we must change that, and this again, is about mentoring budding leaders and developing the right skills, to be ready to take up leading roles when the opportunity opens,” Rai said. 

Also read: ‘Organisations need to convey clearly to women that they have everything needed for success’: Anju Bhadoria

Also read: ‘We have several women CEOs in the industry’: Shuba Kumar

Also read: ‘Equity is the conversation to have going forward:’ Kausalya Nandakumar

Also read: ‘Critical that work environments are flexible’: Akshima Ghate


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