International Women’s Day is all about celebrating ‘equity’ that has been denied to women since time immemorial. This gender-based discrimination has for long demarcated the discourse of non-equal opportunities at workplaces. Either women are discouraged from working as full-time employees, or they face harassment at the hands of their co-workers. However, there are organizations that
have made indiscriminate choices to make their workplaces gender-bias free.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, 2016, Apparel Training and Design Center’s female employees were greeted with flowers and goodies. ATDC, India’s largest vocational training provider also organized a workshop on Sexual Harassment of Women at workplace- Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal, an act that came into being in 2013. ATDC has constituted its very own Internal Complaints Committee, headed by Sr. Lady Officer, so that complaints of harassment of any kind at workplace can be looked into and redressed according to guidelines set by the Supreme Court. Seminars, cultural events along with dialogue-based workshops marked the eventful day at ATDC. Suggestions were invited from all employees to ensure that ATDC can continue providing a conducive workplace environment to all its employees.
ATDC has for long been proactively engaging with its pan-Indian women workforce at ATDC’s 176 centers across India. In fact, more than 80 percent of ATDC’s workforce comprises of women. All important positions and profiles in Academics, Finance, Project Implementation, and Administration at ATDC are being chaired by women. Moreover, ATDC has also made arrangements to make its premises differently-abled-friendly. ATDC ensures that special training required in such cases is taken care of with utmost diligence on the management’s part. Along with the aforementioned measures that ATDC has taken up, medical insurance is also provided to its female workers in case of maternity leave.
ATDC has also taken up a proactive role in providing skill-based training to women for increasing their chances of finding employment in the apparel sector. The setting up of ATDC in a rural location provides the required training infrastructure to provide skills to the needy in order to help them find productive employment in and around areas they live in.
ATDC also conducts Tribal Women’s Special training programs in areas like Chindwara, other areas of Madhya Pradesh and in Orissa as well.
Emphasizing on the role of women, Dr. Darlie O. Koshy, DG & CEO, ATDC & IAM, notes that women provide huge strengths which are inherited in their DNA with an eye for aesthetics and detail and keen innate interest in value addition teaching may like surface ornamentation. “Power of 49” as i.e. 49 percent of India’s population being women can be transformed to significant economic advantage and social equity if they are empowered and brought to mainstream of work. Apparel manufacturing provides them such an opportunity matching with their inherent interests on ATDC, women's dedication as main reason for ATDC’s success & leadership,” explains Dr. Darlie Koshy.
On this occasion Dr. Poonam Shankar, Registrar & OSD (DG &CEO's Office) Administration & Asset Management, ATDC National Head Office shared her views “Empowering women is to make them independent in all aspects from mind, thought, rights, decisions, by leaving all the social and family limitations. Women constitute about 50% of our country and so in order to make this country a fully powerful country, women empowerment is very necessary. The real meaning of the women empowerment is to make them well educated and leave them free so that they can be capable to take their own decisions in any field. In order to really bring women empowerment in the Indian society, it needs to understand and eliminate the main cause of the ill practices against women which are patriarchal and male dominated system of the society. It needs to be open-minded and change the old mind set against women together with the constitutional and other legal provisions.
ATDC follows these for women empowerment: Creates safe workplace, Stresses on Women education, Raises voice against gender inequality, Provides job skills (Vocational training) to them and creates more job opportunities in Apparel Industry for them.”
The candidates’ profiles of ATDC-SMART training programmes indicate 85% women and about 79% candidates from rural and semi urban areas and over 75% have been placed in the apparel industry with 45% in large & SME and also 25-30% in domestic industry units/ self-help groups and rest for self-employment.