To educate and involve women engineers in off-highway industry, women engineering students from various colleges of Pune were invited to a ‘Off Highway Board Edu Meet – 2013’. The aim was to introduce them to the environment, comfort level and growth opportunities in the industry.
Organised by city-based Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) and Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) India, off-highway education meet was held on January 4 at Cummins Engineering College for Women, Karvenagar campus.
Former dean of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and founder president of Foundation for Liberal And Management Education (FLAME), Indira Parikh inaugurated the meet. In her keynote address, Parikh inspired women engineers to break into new fields of opportunities, which is crucial for the country’s growth. The event was organised by six companies; ARAI, Eaton Technologies, John Deere India, Cummins India, PTC and JCB India.
Especially organised for aspiring women engineers, they were invited from five city-based engineering colleges — Cummins College of Engineering for Women, Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, MIT College of Engineering, College of Engineering Pune and ARAI Academy. Over 400 students participated in this event.
During the event, different HR managers were invited to give presentations about off-highway industry, the comfort zone for women engineers and growth opportunities available for them. A 60-minute panel discussion and a quiz contest was also organised during the meet.
Director of ARAI, Shrikant Marathe, pointing out on how women are breaking into off-highway engineering, which has traditionally been a male-dominated sector, said, “It is imperative to have the right blend of men and women to help the industry’s growth. Working with a diverse group demands changes in mindsets, behaviours and attitudes. We are glad that companies are realising the value of having diversity in their organisation and are taking the lead in paradigm shift and giving equal opportunities to women.”
Business manager at John Deere Electronic Solutions India, Devendra Bahirat, while speaking at the meet, stressed on the crucial need for diverse workforce for accelerating the growth of companies. “In John Deere, women engineers have been successfully working in many different functions, including manufacturing and research & development. We are committed to increasing the gender diverse population within the organisation,” he said. The off-highway industry covers everything from farm to construction equipment and every attachment in between.