Voting rights. Equal pay. Safe space. These are some of the major talking points surrounding the role of women in India, in recent times. But has anyone stopped to think how, even in this day and age, women could be just as guilty of an entrenched gender-bias as men? Greenply, in association with Archana Women’s Center – a Kerala-based organization that works towards empowering women – drives home this idea with a simple experiment.
Women were invited to an art gallery, where various objects were displayed inside a wardrobe. They were asked a simple question: Which of the things they saw were made by women. As each of the women inspected the objects, all guesses gravitated towards the objects, like clothes, food etc. Not one participant thought to assign the art of furniture making to a woman’s hands.
The big surprise then played out on a projection – a video showing the building of the wardrobe by an all-woman carpentry team, right from the first steps to the final product. Shortly thereafter, the women carpenters themselves emerged, and were introduced to the amazed participants.
Women play a definitive role in Greenply’s business enterprises. Their plant in Tizit, Nagaland, employs over 130 women – nearly half of the workforce. It also works with a network of over 550 female architects across the country. At every stage, they strive to find ways to empower and include women in their ecosystem, where they can drive the industry forward with their enterprise.
With this initiative, Greenply turns those efforts towards the one discipline which, despite being so closely tied to their industry, has so long been a man’s domain – carpentry. And they make just one appeal to all – stop saying, ‘women can’t’.
“The seeds of patriarchy are sowed so deep that we still express wonder when we hear of women working in certain professions. Carpentry is one of them. We wanted to seize the opportunity to drive home the flaws in our ways of thinking. That’s why we chose Women’s Day as the right time to catapult this event,” said Sukesh Nayak, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy West.
“Our partnership with Archana Women’s Center is to provide expertise in various training programs such as mechanical skill, knowledge about newer techniques and critical thinking skills, which will develop the women workforce to meet all challenges of carpentry. At every phase, we attempt to find ways to empower and include women workforce in our ecosystem, where they can lead the plywood industry forward,” said Rajesh Mittal, Managing Director, Greenply Industries Limited (GIL).
“There is a huge opportunity for carpenters of every skill level in India for various woodworking and carpentry services. Through our association we will nurture them and provide vocational training to make them skilled professionals,” said Sanidhya Mittal, Executive Director of Greenply Industries Limited (GIL).
“Our goal is to dismantle the barriers of gender discrimination prevailing in the technical employment sector, by means of training, empowerment and continued motivational and employment support to women. We train under privileged women in the society and arm them with the weapon of self-reliance and dignity to combat livelihood challenges”, said Miss Thresiamma Mathew, Director, Archana Women’s Center.
Vice Chairman India and CCO South and S.E. Asia: Sonal Dabral
Chief Creative Officers, Ogilvy West: Kainaz Karmakar, Harshad Rajadhyaksha, Sukesh Nayak
Creative Team: Sujoy Roy, Dhruv Mookerji, Gour K Mukherjee, Angad Singh, Anuraag Bose & Amrita Dutt
Account Management Team: VR Rajesh, Mudassar Hossain & Nabanita Chatterjee
Production House: O Fish Entertainment
Director: Anandi Ghose