‘A strong will is a women’s forte’
Sonia Madan, General Manager (Instrumentation), Engineers India Limited, talks about her experience.
Engineers India Limited
Executing projects in Oil & Gas industries
Consultancy for Instrumentation Engineering
Sonia Madan graduated in 1990 in Electronics (Instrumentation & Control) from Thapar University, Patiala. On graduation, she joined Engineers India Limited where she remains till date, and is presently designated General Manager (Instrumentation) at EIL’s Gurugram office. Sonia holds 27+ years experience in various Oil & Gas Projects offering Consultancy for Instrumentation Engineering for various clients like IPCL, IOCL, GAIL, CPCL, BRPL, MRPL, BPCL and HPCL.
How adventurous has the journey to success been so far?
Every road may not look smooth but as one goes through the journey, it becomes achievable. In the same manner, every day has been a challenge with respect to professional and social interactions. The adventure of managing work and people is what success is all about.
For a country where women have joined the workforce decades ago, there are few in leadership positions. What are the possible reasons?
It is mainly due to traditional so-called gender roles leading to an unequal distribution of responsibility at home and in the organisational culture. At times, women climbing the leadership ladder themselves retreat back due to social reasons. However, the trend is definitely changing.
There is always a glass ceiling and it is not always gender-based. But how difficult is it for a woman to enter the corner office?
It requires persistence, optimism and a continuous struggle for women to break the glass ceiling. Though it is not easy, where there is a will, there is a way. And, a strong will is a women’s forte.
In recent years we have had some successful cases of women CEOs in banking/Finance, but not many in engineering. Will this change in the coming years?
With a number of women entering the STEM fields in the last decade, this will definitely translate into women in top positions in STEM in the coming years. When a Defence Head of our country is a woman, the day of women in CEO positions in engineering is surely close!
Final question, do successful women deliberately avoid the limelight?
To be in the limelight is a personal preference. Knowledge and communication is a stronghold to be in the limelight. Our social structure demands that successful women be resilient enough to handle the limelight without appearing to be too pushy. On the other hand, it cannot be avoided for the fear of non-recognition. So, I can say is that they don’t avoid it, they just balance it well.
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