Sudha Murty is a trailblazer. In 1968, she was the only girl in her engineering college. After standing first in Karnataka University, she joined the Indian Institute of Science for further studies. It was while studying here that she saw an advertisement about the TELCO company wanting trainee engineers. Women, however, were asked not to apply.
Sudha, indignant at such blatant discrimination, wrote a letter to J.R.D. Tata, expressing her surprise at the attitude of the company. A week late, she was called for the interview.
The interview was not easy. After Sudha had sat for two-and-a-half hours answering questions, one of the panelists told her that the reason TELCO did not employ women engineers was that on getting married, they left their jobs to live with their husbands.
Sudha, annoyed at this injustice, politely asked the panelists if any of them had left their jobs to join their wives at their place of work when they got married. Surprised at her question, they answered that they had not. She then told them that like the other women she too would follow the age-old tradition and move to her husband’s place of work when she got married. She further added that unlike most men, however, she would not leave the company merely because someone offered he a little more money.
Sudha Murty got the job. She became the first woman to work on the TELCO shop floor.