According to the economic survey of 2022-2023, the Electric Vehicle (EV) market in India will grow at a CAGR of 49% and reach sales of one crore units by 2030. Climate change, air pollution, rising fossil fuel costs, and advances in battery technologies are fuelling the growth of the EV industry.
As the EV manufacturing drive has taken flight, it has created significant employment growth. The Indian government’s Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles (FAME) scheme incentivises EV consumers and manufacturers. It details the domestic manufacturing roadmap across the EV value chain, including parts, sub-assemblies, and assemblies, thus boosting industrial development and creating employment opportunities while meeting emission targets. The Indian government has allowed 100% FDI in the manufacturing of batteries, intending to lead the EV market. All major automotive players like Tata Motors, Hyundai, Maruti, and a host of startups have announced significant investments in e-mobility. As per the economic survey 2022-23, the EV industry will generate 1 crore direct and 5 crore indirect jobs in India by 2030.
The EV industry requires a range of talent, from research scientists to plant workers and automotive maintenance technicians. Industrial designers, drafters, technicians, software developers, and engineers are the others who play crucial roles. Additionally, positions in the supply chain, operations, analytics, AI, consumer behaviour, and app development will be created. Educational institutions across India are offering specialised courses aimed at the EV industry. Automotive Skills Development Council (ASDC) has created qualification packs, curriculum, and standardised assessments. They have developed a database of certified candidates and an employment portal.
The Wheebox India Skills Report 2023 states that the employability rate for women was 52.8% versus 47.2% for men, and access to digital tools further strengthens the trend. This indicator does not necessarily translate to higher participation by women in the workforce. Women make up only 28% of STEM Jobs. The automobile industry historically has been predominantly male, with women forming less than 15% of the workforce. The EV sector will prove to be a game-changer in this aspect.
The EV manufacturing push has opened the doors for women to be involved in a multitude of roles, from investor to CEO to shop floor technician. Ostara Advisors, founded by Vasudha Madhavan, is India’s first electric mobility focussed investment bank. Nehal Gupta runs AMU Leasing, which is an NBFC for EVs. The CEOs of Kinetic Green, Mahindra Electric Mobility, OBEN Electric Vehicle, Ampere Vehicles, and Esmito are all women. Organisations seek women employees for their fine motor skills to delicately handle components like sensors and motherboards in EVs. Ola has announced that its e-scooter factory in Tamil Nadu will be run only by women and, at full strength, will have a workforce of ten thousand.
Other organisations like Tata Motors are also increasing the number of women technicians on the assembly line. As the EV sector expands, organisations must introduce women-oriented skilling and recruitment programs, identify women leaders early in their careers, and provide clear career paths. Like any other organisation, EV firms must go beyond table stakes and incorporate leading and emerging HR and training practices to make a sizeable dent in the gender gap. A few such initiatives would be setting goals for representation, financial incentives for progress on diversity metrics, monitoring bias during hiring or promotion reviews, equalising pay, and tracking differences in outcomes for remote and on-site employees. With strong leadership support, the EV industry can aim high and achieve gender equality.
The urgency needed in tackling climate change has brought to the forefront the acute necessity of creating a level playing field for women to be equal participants in developing mobility solutions. The tremendous growth potential of climate tech companies is an opportune moment for women to forge ahead and be creators of wealth at equitable and diverse organisations.
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