How CCBPL is Empowering Women in Male-Dominated Fields
Not long ago, working outside the home was not viewed favorable for women. Even if they had been fortunate to enter the workforce, they had to face tremendous barriers while advancing in their career. A gradual change, however, has set them on an equal footing with men.
Today, not only more women have staked their place in the workforce but are also holding influential titles. While women have also made headway into certain male-dominated professions, there’s still a great gender gap in many industries and occupations.
Per Catalyst report, the major reason for less diverse employee pools in these industries is because the senior leadership tends to be dominated by men. They set the tone for masculine stereotypes that can creep into HR strategies and tools.
Anyhow, efforts are being made all around the world to close the gender gap especially in sectors, such as technology, finance and construction.
Pakistan has been proactive to not only get women enter the workforce but also make their way into the male-dominated professions. However, there are myths prevailing in the society that girls are physically inferior to men, if not intellectually too. They are often considered having limited capacities to sustain the family.
Building their capacity, however, can boost the economic situation of Pakistan. Various organizations in the country are now taking steps to help women break barriers and prove themselves equal if not better at tasks traditionally considered a male bastion.
Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan Limited (CCBPL) is playing a lead role in this regard. At their exemplary offices and plants, women are seen performing jobs such as truck drivers, fork-lifters, security officers, machine operators, microbiologists, and sales manager.
In fact, the CCBPL has 33 percent of its core leadership comprise of women. Over the course of last four years, they have doubled the number of female participation, and now 14.5 percent of their women are working at management positions.
Empowering women to thrive and gain equal opportunity is a worldwide commitment for the company. It’s one of the three global priorities for the Coca Cola Company and Coca Cola Foundation which include Water, Women and Well-being.
Savvy and Successful (S&S) is part of CCBPL’s initiative to promote gender diversity at workplace. The yearly tradition celebrates women of diverse background who have broken barriers and triumphed challenges. The event also acts as a platform for professional women to network and establish valuable connections.
Over time the initiative has grown bigger, and just last year, S&S awarded six brilliant women who although were not part of CCBPL, but had still achieved remarkable success in their non-traditional career.
Established in Pakistan in 1996, CCBPL has became the first company in the country to hire and train female distributors. Women workers are trained through the company’s outsourced training and learning by Descon Engineering. These women are part of Coca-Cola’s batch to be introduced at production lines.
Razzia Bhatti, a single mother from Gujranwala recently employed at the company as Safety on The Move Driver. Her job requires enforcing and highlighting the importance of safety culture within the organisation as well as distribution partners on road safety, personal safety and fire safety.
Being a single female driver on the road, she obviously faces many challenges, especially when the general society around us believes that their driving capabilities are inferior to that of men. But with the support of her colleagues, she has successfully broken the masculine stereotype in a short duration, and now feels empowered.
Razzia is just one example; there are various others who are breaking the status quo at the CCBPL.
Faiza Ahmad for instance, has been working at the company’s Power House for the last 1.5 years. She holds a diploma in Engineering and currently pursuing her B.A and M.A. Along with being successful at career and studies, Faiza is living a happy married life.
Of course, one can’t deny the growing empowerment of women when observes these women at the CCBPL from all walks of life being given the opportunity to explore their strengths. Tackling the society that labels them as weak, these women are, no doubt, the role model for those who are yet to discover their full potential!