August 10, 2023 – Alstom, the global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, has over 18% women on the shopfloor at its world-class components manufacturing facility in Coimbatore. With sheer grit and determination, these women have cleared multiple rounds of assessments, interviews and training to be qualified for hard-core shop floor jobs. Today, they are working across various roles such as Team leaders, CCN engineer, Quality assurance in key domains that include quality, supply chain, testing & commissioning, production & assembling and Warehouse & Logistics. They have contributed extensively towards building components or subsystem products that are assembled to make complete train sets, for some of the most prestigious mainline and urban mobility projects currently underway across India and international markets.
While most of these women belong to socially and economically backward families, they have broken barriers by pursuing ‘Diploma’ – technical qualification and securing employment opportunities at Alstom through campus recruitment drives. Despite facing various challenges, these resilient women are making meaningful impact beyond their job, by setting an example for their families and communities. Today, they are able to support their families financially and even pursuing higher education (BE) to excel further in their career.
As Alstom continues to make progress towards enhancing diversity and inclusion for all, here are some examples of women who are breaking the gender bias and leading teams, winning accolades, imparting their knowledge on a global platform, and working on international projects:
Ramya Pechimuthu, a graduate in electronics and communication engineering, has been working with Alstom for over 9 years. From a short-term trainee in manufacturing to handling audits for diversified customers, Ramya has come a long way. She has gained valuable experience working on Chennai Metro and Kochi Metro projects. As a new mother, she has been supported by Alstom to continue her role as the customer quality in-charge for all the projects, while balancing her personal life. In 2016, she moved to the quality department, assuming the role of an Industrial Quality Engineer, demonstrating her expertise in looming and cabinets quality inspection, quality animations in the production line, customer handling, and continuous improvements. Working with cross-functional teams, Ramya has actively participated in product inspections, internal audits, and customer management, and has ensured quality across all projects underway in Coimbatore for the last 7 years.
Venkada Lakshmi started her career in Alstom as a trainee and has risen to the level of a Team Lead in a short span of time. Presently, she is working with the Traction line team on the MML – Mumbai and ICNG-Germany project. Coming from a small town in Thirunelveli, she has grown significantly and has also been awarded ‘Best Creation in Manufacturing’. One of her greatest achievements have been the opportunity to present the best practice and achievements to the Chief Operating Officer at Alstom and to the Leadership team of India during their visit to Coimbatore. Her commitment, enthusiasm, and ability to overcome challenges have made her an invaluable asset and taken her career to great heights.
Ramalakshmi Murugan is a graduate in electronics and has completed her MBA in Technology management. She joined Alstom as a trainee. Based on her performance and potential, she was selected as an Management Executive Role. She started her career in production, where she got the opportunity to work on two new projects (CMRL – Chennai and KMRL- Kochi Metro) and learn technical processes. She also supported collaboration with other Alstom sites in Bengaluru and Sri City. Her exceptional management skills, combined with her extensive product knowledge, have paved the way for her current role as a Site Change and Configuration Engineer in the Projects team. Ramalakshmi’s commitment to excellence and continuous development led her to participate and successfully complete the Alstom Super Skipper program which further enhanced her skills and knowledge, contributing to her overall professional growth.
Thangamani Rangaraj has a Diploma in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and is currently pursuing an MBA. She started her career at Alstom as a trainee in manufacturing and has been with the company for over 10 years. Today, she is serving as a team lead ensuring quality across projects. She credits her success to Alstom’s women-friendly initiatives, like the creche facility, that helped her steadily resume work after motherhood, professionally. Some of the key projects she has contributed to are the Metro projects of CMRL – Chennai, LMRC – Lucknow and KMRL – Kochi in Looming & Cabinets.
Elakiya Rajan, who has 8 years of experience working at Alstom is another such example. She started her career as a trainee in the Manufacturing department and has grown to the role of team lead. Her dedication to continuous improvement and professional growth is evident in her pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in engineering (BE) under the Associate Development Model of Alstom. She has contributed significantly towards building the looms & Harness for the Mumbai Metro Line 3 (MML 3). She has participated in a short-term mission to Perth, where she provided training to the team and contributed to the transfer of technology. Currently, she is on a short-term mission to Mexico, further showcasing her versatility and willingness to take on new challenges. She has been recognized with several awards from the company Coming from a rural family of construction workers, Elakiya believes that Alstom offers tremendous opportunities for women, which have helped her contribute towards the development of her family.
Suvalakshmi R started her journey at Alstom in 2017 as an associate in the manufacturing team. Through her hard work and dedication, she has advanced to the role of Team Lead in the Looming Line. While she was the only female in a team of 29, she led the team and delivered phenomenal outcomes. Throughout her career, Suvalakshmi has received numerous accolades and recognition for her outstanding contributions. She is also an active member of the Works Committee (People Forum). Chasing her professional goals, she is presently pursuing her lifelong dream of receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (BE), under the Associate Development Model of Alstom. She is also supporting her brother financially to pursue higher studies.
Revathi Annadurai, began her professional journey in 2015 when she joined Alstom as a Trainee. At the time, she was the sole earning member of her family of 3. Over the years, she has consistently developed her skills and expertise by taking advantage of the various opportunities to learn and grow. As a Team Lead, she has successfully initiated and led a Canadian metro Looms project. Under her guidance, the team has achieved 40% reduction in process time, which resulted in winning several awards She believes that Alstom has played a vital role in her personal life as well as career and credits the company for her success. Today, she has single-handedly managed all expenses for her marriage.
Shanmugi R has a Diploma in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and possesses 7 years of experience with Alstom. She began her professional journey as a trainee and is currently serving as a team lead. She is currently involved in a short-term mission to Mexico for the Trenmaya project.
Sivapadmini Chinnamuthu is from Virudhunagar and has over 4 years of experience with Alstom. She started her career as a Trainee and is currently working as a Team Lead, supervising 30 employees. She was selected for a short-term mission to Perth, where she contributed to the transfer of technology to the local team. Under her supervision, the team has received multiple awards for safety, quality, cost, and delivery. She has cleared Alstom’s preliminary aptitude test, ranking among the top 43 out of 100 students. The various training and college to campus programs, forums on women empowerment, physical and mental health sessions, and an inclusive and holistic work culture, have helped her overcome her initial challenges. She feels overjoyed to have been recognized for the good performance which serves as a motivation to perform better.
Spread across 15 acres, Coimbatore houses Alstom’s largest components manufacturing facility in Asia and is dedicated to improving industrial efficiency in manufacturing components for national and international projects. It offers a higher degree of production diversity & complexity – integration & testing of tractions, auxiliary convertors, cubicles, driver desks and Rolling Stock looms. This site currently delivers not just to Alstom’s Indian sites but also to major sites across 5 continents – Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Some of the key countries include – France, Canada, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, UAE etc.
Alstom firmly believes in creating a work environment and culture where all differences are valued, respected, and leveraged without any bias. It aims to reach 25% women in management, engineering & professional roles by 2025, in India. The company also aims to create a work environment where employees feel respected, as well as provide a zero-tolerance environment for all kinds of harassment. Alstom has also retained its place as the first and only organization in India to be certified as a Top Employer in the mobility sector consecutively for the third time this year. This is a testament to Alstom’s continued commitment towards creating a better workplace through excellent people practices.