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“Believe in me because of my capabilities not because I am a woman”

08 March, 2016

Dream meets opportunity

She loved machines since childhood and wanted to invent an engine that could run a car at rocket speed. Many times in her life, she was sternly told ‘You can't do it because you're a girl'. She defied all societal prejudices, became a mechanical engineer and stuck to her first job at Tata Motors for more than a decade! Meet Shivani Poddar, Program Manager for our Cargo & Tractor Vehicles division - Jamshedpur plant.

Was it easy for Shivani to be a mechanical engineer and then get into a domain, often perceived as a man's territory? Not quite. There were only two girls in Shivani's engineering batch. She did face discrimination, especially in labs and hydraulics workshops, where boys had an upper hand, crowding around teachers. She's thankful that the professors in college were supportive and helped her through her course.

The campus to corporate transition was also difficult. ‘Demanding jobs are not for women', Shivani was told. She however made the choice of taking up one such challenging role at Tata Motors.

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“I began my career with Tata Motors in the Production Planning & Control department. I spent almost eight years developing projects like Rainbow, TANTRA and BW for business analytics. My next stop was Defence manufacturing, where I was involved in the coordination and execution of multiple projects. Later, I switched over to Project Portfolio Management (PPM) for Cargo &Tractors, responsible for new product launches. At Tata Motors, I got to do all that is perceived as a man's territory," laughs the spunky Shivani.

Embracing diversity, respecting differences

The belief of giving all individuals the opportunity to develop and grow-irrespective of their gender, religion, caste, creed or nationality-runs deep at Tata Motors. Respecting differences and embracing diversity is at the core of our Diversity and Inclusion approach. Shivani is one of the many women engineers in the organisation who are valued, supported and encouraged to grow in their careers, irrespective of the phase of life they are in. Our policies ensure that women don't drop out of their careers because of the demands of their personal life.

At Tata Motors you get opportunities not because you are a woman or a man; you get opportunities on the grounds of merit, skill, dedication and capability.

Elaborating on her stint at Tata Motors, Shivani adds, “The organisation believed in me. It gave me the opportunity to work across multiple roles that empowered me to take on larger responsibilities and contribute to the company's mission."

Recognition in Tata Motors does not end at awards. “As I grew in the organisation, I got several opportunities to share my views with management and train people across levels. That is real recognition for me and such moments make me proud of being an engineer. At Tata Motors you get opportunities not because you are a woman or a man; you get opportunities on the grounds of merit, skill, dedication and capability," sings off Shivani, as she rushes out to her workstation to finalise a few things for the launch of her new product – the Signa.

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