Becoming the first company in India to hire female staff in all shifts, private steel manufacturer Tata Steel has broken a few of the many gender stereotypes by employing women engineers at its Noamundi iron ore mine in Jharkhand.

The company has recruited ten women officers from mining, electrical, mechanical and mineral processing engineering disciplines, the firm’s statement on Monday said.

In a press release, the company said, “Tata Steel is the first company in India to deploy women in all shifts in mines; and OMQ (Ore, Mines & Quarries) division becomes the first division in Tata Steel to deploy women in all shifts with effect from September 1, 2019.”

The release said measures such as sanitary vending machines, canteens, rest rooms, female security guards, transportation and deployment of women in groups of not less than three in a shift are being put in place. “All the norms stipulated by Directorate General Of Mines Safety (DGMS) are being adhered to ensure effective deployment of women at the mines. A written consent from each women employee has been obtained prior to the deployment.” Security measures such as GPS and CCTV monitoring have been implemented for the female staff.

The initiative comes after the Centre earlier this year scrapped Section 46 of the Mines Act, 1952 which restricted employment of women above ground and in any mine below ground.

Arun Misra, vice president, raw materials division of Tata Steel, said, “We are enhancing facilities to recruit more women in all sections of our mines.”
Misra said employing women in mines leads to generation of innovative ideas and perspectives.

The press release said the initiative is in line with the company’s target of achieving 20 per cent women officers in the workforce by 2025. Earlier, the company had started two shifts for women employees at its Jamshedpur plant shop floor on April 1 this year, it added.

A total of 52 female employees were posted at its coke plant and electrical repair shop floor in A and B shifts between 6 am and 10 pm, the release said.