loading-image
Working towards bringing gender balance to India’s labour force

By auther pic. CSRBOX

September 6, 2021

Working towards bringing gender balance to India’s labour force

Yogesh Kumar, Founder and CEO of Even Cargo

Labour Organization female labor force participation in India was 23.5% in early 2019.

To increase the women workforce participation in India, several organizations are imparting vocational training to females in traditional skills such as sewing, etc. These are professions that the women in India have always been seen doing and considered capable of doing.

However, few organizations like Even Cargo have been working towards addressing this issue as well as challenging gender norms. In May 2016, Yogesh Kumar, Founder and CEO of Even Cargo challenged these gender norms by providing employment opportunities to girls in sectors that have been traditionally male dominated. By providing the females with a field job (delivery girl), Even Cargo helped break the societal stereotypes about what a woman can and cannot do.  

Initially Even Cargo faced difficulty in finding girls who were willing to take this job up. While identifying and on boarding aspiring girls was no easy feat, Even Cargo took time to properly sensitize and educate them before they joined the company. After joining they went through four modules of training – driving a two-wheeler, communication, self-defense, and logistics.

Currently, the company has footprint in Delhi, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. During the COVID-19 induced lockdown, while the logistics industry flourished, women were being forced by their families to drop out and take care of the home front. Yogesh and his team retained most of their staff by sensitizing their families as well.

While, there are other organizations apart from Even Cargo, that are providing employment to girls in non-traditional roles – such as the role of a cab driver. However, theirs is an asset heavy model wherein the female must invest her own money to buy a cab, which turns out to be very expensive. This is a major reason for the high dropout rate of females. On the other hand, Even Cargo developed an asset light model, wherein the female just needs to have her own scooter. In many cases they provide e-scooters to girls who need them the most.  In some cases, Even Cargo has facilitated the girls to get loan from a bank.

Even cargo has developed very strong and inclusive work processes. The company also engages with business partners to build more gender inclusive workplaces. delivery girls have observed changes at e-commerce workstations in the form of having functional female washrooms, making the workstation a tobacco free zone, reduction in the use of abusive language, etc.

Even Cargo has successfully trained over 600 girls on two-wheeler-riding skills have provided direct employment to over 350 girls as Delivery Associates in the e-commerce logistics industry. Due to this employment opportunity, these girls have experienced a major transformation in their lives. Many of these girls have also used their income towards funding their education, treatment of old parents, buying assets etc.

Firstly, this job has led to their active financial inclusion. Secondly, the job has also led to their digital inclusion by making them work with technology driven organizations such as Amazon. Thirdly, they also experience a transformation in their personalities. Moreover, by having more and more women employed and confident in public spaces, more women are feeling safe to come forward and do the same. 50% of the delivery girls employed at Even Cargo have turned up through the word-of-mouth publicity within their communities.

Growing up, Yogesh witnessed first-hand the multi-layered gender discriminations. This led him to engage Even Cargo with present business partners to build more gender inclusive workplaces.

Even Cargo became India’s first women only e-commerce logistics company and this captures the success of the initiative. Now their aim is to scale up and work in other cities.

The Plan India Impact Award 2021 in the category ‘Last Mile Champion for Girls Rights’ is certainly an encouragement for the team and motivates them further to bring more women into the formal and labour workforce.

 

Also Read: ICICI Academy for skills helping India achieve SDG 8 by ensuring “decent work and economic growth”

Author

CSRBOX.org is Asia’s largest CSR platform with an in-depth CSR portfolio of over 1050 companies and 10000+ CSR projects. The platform works as a bridge between the development sector, and business community, government agencies and academic institutes to bring together opportunities on one platform and create a knowledge base for thematic interventions. A few of our clients are UNICEF India, IBM, BOSCH Ltd, HCL Foundation, Genpact, Diageo, Bajaj Foundation etc.We have projects, platforms and partnerships (3Ps) based approach for social impact in India.

 

Suggest a Story: If you have similar story to refer, please fill in the form