New Delhi; 4th March 2023: On National Security Day, Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, has recruited seven transgender professionals for the security function of its plant at Jharsuguda (Odisha), which is one of the world’s largest aluminium smelters. The seven employees Aarunita Payasingh, Aarohi Sharma, Sandhya Yadav, Siddhi Nage, Khushi Dhruv, Pavitra and Roma Dhruw, will join the company’s formidable security team and will be responsible for ensuring strict round-the-clock security of the assets and workforce. This is the second hiring of LGBTQIA+ professionals at Vedanta Aluminium, with the previous recruits working at the company’s Chhattisgarh-based subsidiary, BALCO, in security and material handling functions. Last year, the company embarked upon the mission to expand its recruitment ambit to tap into the LQBTQIA+ talent pool, who are yet to find acceptance in the mainstream and corporate world.
With 14 transgender employees, Vedanta Aluminium is now amongst the handful of manufacturing companies in India and the world to have LGBTQIA+ employees in core operations. Globally, the gender diversity ratio in manufacturing and heavy engineering industries has traditionally been low, and this deficit is even more acute in metals and mining. To build a diverse workforce, Vedanta Aluminium has been working extensively towards attracting high-potential women and LGBTQIA+ professionals to join its ranks.
To ease their transition from the fringes of society to smart manufacturing plants, and help them evolve from semi-skilled people into professionals, Vedanta Aluminium has adopted a three-pronged approach, that includes:
· Identification of trans people with minimum required skills for working in a manufacturing industry by conducting skill mapping studies.
· Extensive training programs for the recruits, aimed at honing the required skillsets, including soft-skills and business knowledge.
· Building an empathetic & inclusive environment by conducting gender-sensitization sessions for its workforce, with respect to the social and psychological challenges of trans people, proper code of conduct and ways of working to build a cohesive and encouraging environment for all. This also includes ensuring required infrastructural augmentations.
Going forward, the company intends to recruit more employees, both directly and indirectly through its business partners, from the LGBTQIA+ community to further increase the diversity of its workforce.
Speaking about Vedanta Aluminium’s endeavours to increase diversity of workforce, Mr. Rahul Sharma, CEO, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business, said, “Our markets, customers and businesses are diverse and complex. To match that, we believe in recruiting people with diverse experiences, skills, education etc so that the business strategies they formulate, the problems they solve, the innovations they make are correspondingly well-rounded. The secret sauce for our healthy gender-diversity ratio includes gender-agnostic job
roles, a merit-driven work culture, a host of global experts who train and groom our employees for success, a sharp & rich learning curve, and a plethora of wellbeing initiatives designed to support them at every stage of their lives. Our ultimate objective is to build a wholesome culture, that makes our employees and partners feel welcomed, encouraged and empowered to deliver to the best of their potential.”
Arohi Sharma, one of the newly recruited transgender employees, said, “Vedanta Jharsuguda has taken utmost care towards ensuring a comfortable induction into the organization for me and my colleagues. We have been provided with robust functional and safety trainings, sessions on diversity and equal opportunity, and technical trainings for our roles & responsibilities as part of the company’s security force. Our colleagues are friendly and respectful and have made us feel welcomed. I am thankful to Vedanta for this life-changing opportunity.”
Another employee, Roma Dhruw, adds, “From struggling to survive in society to being given the empowering responsibility to handle the security of one of the world’s largest aluminium plants, I am proud to have come this far. This is a milestone moment in our lives, and the transgender community. I thank Vedanta Aluminium for giving us the opportunity to be part of the company’s growth journey.”
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.27 million tonnes in FY22. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2nd in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.