Vedanta Aluminium, the largest aluminium producer in India, has now hired several differently-abled individuals across its operations in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, ramping up its efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusivity (DE&I) within the metals and mining sector.
These individuals, experiencing impairments ranging from loss of vision to limited mobility, have been mapped to jobs that closely match their skill set and unique abilities, and are provided specialised training for their job responsibilities by domain experts.
This is a noteworthy move as it is far more complex to hire differently-abled people in the heavy engineering, metals and core manufacturing sector, than in other sectors such as the back-office or service industry.
Hired from within the communities residing around its operations, the nearly 20 employees are now contributing to Vedanta Aluminium’s operations in a diverse array of roles, ranging from commercial, human resources, and asset security to housekeeping, storekeeping and carpentry.
Hiring differently-abled personnel offers an opportunity for businesses to go beyond standardised approaches and focus on building a workplace that is truly inclusive.
This outlook encompasses ensuring safety, such as specialised alerts for hearing-impaired individuals, to process augmentations, such as sourcing customized tools that allow for greater freedom of movement to mobility-impaired individuals.
Vedanta Aluminium endeavours to build the capabilities of these employees to ably handle job responsibilities at par with their colleagues and provide them with the opportunity to successfully join the socio-economic mainstream.
The company facilitates this inclusion through a five-pronged strategy:
(i) identifying potential individuals for hiring
(ii) comprehensive skill-focused training by experts
(iii) fostering an enabling environment via sensitisation sessions for employees
(iv) enabling policies and processes, and
(v) infrastructure enhancements that account for different abilities and ensure equitable approaches to mitigating restrictions.
Additionally, the company has assigned dedicated Human Resources Business Partners to support the professionals in availing of relevant government schemes, such as facilitating the issuance of disability certificates and securing supportive benefits from both state and central government programs.
On the occasion, Mr. Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business commented, “At Vedanta Aluminium, embracing diversity isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic advantage for us. When we hire differently abled individuals, we don’t just open doors for them, we also open doors to added innovation, unbounded creativity, and a richer tapestry of perspectives within our organization which can be leveraged for exponential growth.”
Sharing his views, Mr. Rajesh Kumar, CEO & Wholetime Director, BALCO said, “We are nurturing an inclusive workforce environment that surpasses conventional perceptions and rewards aptitude and sheer passion for the job. Recognizing the immense value of embracing inclusivity in all its forms, we welcome our new employees and wish them a successful career.
Mr. Dilip Sinha, CHRO, Vedanta Ltd. – Aluminium Business added, “Vedanta Aluminium is committed to fostering an environment that is welcoming of all capable professionals, that seek to continuously enhance their abilities. This approach has enabled us to remain at the forefront of people practices in the industry. The move to hire differently-abled professionals from the communities around our plant operations comes as a natural extension of this effort. When we grow, we ensure we take our communities along with us towards achieving sustainable progress.”
This initiative builds on the company’s recent strides in LGBTQ+ hiring, which saw it employ, train and deploy nearly 30 transgender individuals in core operations across its plant locations, underscoring its dedication to fostering diversity and inclusiveness.
Most recently, the company unveiled a unique Gender Reaffirmation Policy that provides financial support and paid time off to transgender professionals contemplating gender reassignment surgery.
The company has also designed all of its job roles to be gender agnostic, prioritising skill and ability over all other considerations.
Together, these significant steps are propelling a transformative shift towards enhanced employee diversity and encouraging inclusive business practices within India’s manufacturing landscape.
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23.
It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2nd in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices.
With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.