The ‘L-Team’ Women Remind Us No Job Is Only a ‘Man’s’ Job
A group of 14 women in Kerala, known as the ‘L-Team’, are breaking gender stereotypes.
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Here’s 14 female engineers, working hard and inspiring millions of young women. They’re challenging stereotypes and sexist notions of what women can and cannot do; they call themselves the ‘L-Team’, the ‘L’ proudly standing for ‘Ladies’.
The group of women are part of an all women’s maintenance team, responsible to ensure passenger safety aboard the Indian Railways. They oversee the maintenance of four rakes or 80 train coaches and conduct mandatory preventive safety checks.
The work they do has, for generations, been considered ‘men’s’ work, given the technical skill and strength it requires. Clearly, these women disagree, and decided to shatter gender-normative division of labour.
NDTV reported that the team is supervised by Sreekala VM, who has over 12 years of experience, and has been responsible for the team’s nearly two-year long streak of success. She stated,
“We are responsible for the safety of passengers. We are responsible for the safety of a train. Everything is checked by us for the rakes. We are incharge of the mechanical maintenance side. Inside job, passenger amenities, or even the under-gear examinations which are a high priority for safety, all are our responsibilities.”Sreekala VM to NDTV
The women have mostly learned on-the-job, acquiring technical skills as they deal with everyday challenges. 28-year-old Krishnendu, who is the youngest member of the team, embodies the saying, “Practice makes perfect” as she had no prior training for the work, which requires precision, technical skill, and mental and physical strength.
The L-Team’s success is a story of inspiration for women all across the globe and is testament to the status quo being questioned and broken out of in India.
For many women, equal pay and equality (at the workplace, especially) are distant dreams. The L-Team serves to remind us that hope and determination go a long way, and that things, slowly but surely, are changing. We hope for more opportunities for women to enter previously male-dominated arenas and in them, make a name for themselves.
(With inputs from NDTV)
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Topics: Sexism kerala railways L-team
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