Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:
Steelcase, a global leader in the office furniture industry and innovative workspace solutions, announces Women of Steel, an initiative launched by Steelcase India Manufacturing plant, Pune to attract more women to the workforce. The programme has increased the number of women at the plant from 10% in early 2021 to 60% now.
On International Women’s Day this year, Steelcase released a documentary-style short film featuring stories of four women in diverse manufacturing roles, who shaped their careers under the initiative. Watch the complete video here.
Women of Steel was designed to support learning, development, and engagement to change the face of manufacturing in a country where fewer than one third of manufacturing employees are women. However, the industry is at a tipping point, and its future depends on a diverse workforce.
The effort has led to the Steelcase Series 1 sustainable Office chair as well as Think V2 Task Office Chair being assembled entirely by women in Pune, with another all-women line set to launch soon. In addition, the plant was also awarded the Innovative Plants of the Year 2022-23 at the Women Aces of Manufacturing Conference & Awards earlier this year.
Steelcase created Women of Steel to inspire intentional action and truly transform the plant, with the goal of sending ripples throughout India. The initiative has gone above and beyond job creation by eliminating obstacles to opportunity and breaking down bias, while also having a long-term impact on dozens of women and their families across the region.
The organization is implementing the programme at the manufacturing facility on multiple fronts, including holding break the bias sessions, fostering male allies, providing flexibility, training, and mentorship, and facilitating community empowerment initiatives, among other things.
Women of Steel has resulted in increased retention and a solid foundation for women seeking leadership roles at Steelcase.