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12 March | Inside Varroc

Interview with ‘Shemaker’- Rajeshwari Dhore

Interview with ‘Shemaker’- Rajeshwari Dhore


At Varroc, we Attempt to consistently challenge stereotype and break gender-based prejudices. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we spoke with Rajeshwari Dhore ,who is currently working in the Strategy function of the Electrical business. She has 25 years of industrial experience in Quality, Production, Supply Chain and Operations Management.  

Rajeshwari has recently been awarded the Emerging Leader of the year award by ThinkEqual’s SheMaker , for her achievements in the automotive industry

Question 1: You have  25 years of rich industrial experience, can you take us through you professional journey?

Answer 1: In the last year of my Mechanical Engineering course , I had planned to start working immediately. During the placement month, a large number of organizations visited our college for recruitment. Considering that I was one of the only four female students in a class  full of men I knew I had to work a notch harder to get placed.  I got an offer from the first organization I had applied to, but, they got confused with my name and had assumed I was a male student. When there was a delay in the process of releasing my offer letter, I planned to meet the concerned authorities. On my visit I was made aware of the confusion in names and was notified that the organization had a policy to hire only men. I was in a fix, because after my initial offer from this company my college had not allowed me to apply anywhere else. 

Thus, I began my search again and got myself a job as a Quality Trainee Engineer, at Truthread Gauges Pvt Ltd. Post this I worked at places like Gabriel India as an Operating Engineer, and at Kalyani Brakes in the Quality Function in the Meteorology Team as Deputy MR. 

At Kalyani Brakes, I was working on major projects like QS-9000 and had the opportunity to design the entire quality management manual for TS-16949. While working at Kalyani Brakes, I got pregnant with my son, and long hours of daily travel and exertion which my job demanded began to affect my health. The company was very sensitive to my situation and allowed me a work-from-home routine. I worked with the organization for eight years, but as my son began to grow older I realized the need for a work-life balance which pushed me to look for a job with lesser work hours. 

I had a brief stint at Cummins India and then I had the opportunity to work at Eaton which was closer to home.

Eaton, being a MNC had odd work hours. Often I went back home in the evening to cook and came back to attend meetings and worked during the night. At Eaton, I deliberately chose to take a slower pace with my career to focus on my family and my child, and I do not regret having sacrificed a few achievements to strike this balance. 

 In 2016, I joined Varroc as Quality Head of the Electrical Business. At that time, the Quality Function had untapped potential with a lot of bottlenecks that we solved together. Overcoming these challenges made us stronger and closer as a team.  

 In 2018, I took a break from my career to guide my son during his board exam preparations. The management at Varroc, supported my decision and allowed me to continue my career part time alongside focusing on my son’s education. 

Currently, I work in the Strategy function of the Electrical Business.


Question 2: When you look back at the same journey, what were your high points and would you change anything if you could? 

Answer 2: In my early days as an Engineer, there was an incident where we had to install a machine on the shop floor and we were facing a shortage of labor. Due to this my male colleagues jumped on top of the machine and started unbolting the screws, which I did not expect myself to do considering my gender. My manager casually asked me why I wasn’t doing the same things as my male colleagues when we were getting paid equally. I realized, if my male colleagues were being paid the same salary and were given the same responsibilities, why should I alienate myself from a sector of work because of my gender. 

Often times, we become comfortable with certain gender stereotypes, but we must realize  it isn’t really ‘A Man’s World’. I think this realization was a high point in my life.

 If I could change one thing from the past, I would want to unlearn my initial belief in all socially-driven  stereotypes. 

Question 3: When we look at the leadership at Varroc, there is very little representation of Women. You being one of them, give us your perspective on the workplace gender in-balance. 

Answer 3: According to me, the reason for a limitation in female leadership within the manufacturing sector is due to a lesser count of female engineers back in the 90s, and from among the few that did study engineering then, only a handful continued working in the same field. In my industry,  gender imbalance is quite common, though now I see a large number of female employees being recruited as engineers.

Today, most organizations have creche facilities for women, and have extended their maternity leave to six months instead of three. This allows working mothers and young women, to maintain a healthy work-life balance. 

Question 4: Based on your interaction with your current female colleagues, do you see a difference in female representation, role and ownership in projects and spaces within the organization?

Answer 4: Today, young people are more supported and encouraged by family members to pursue career options of their choice irrespective of their gender. Earlier, discussions between women were more centered around domestic work. Now when I hear young women talk to each other, I hear discussions on career, business and self-development.  Even our young female GETs, are motivated to work on the shopfloor rather than choosing to be comfortable in the office workspace setting.  

Question 5:  What is that one key advice you have for women in the male-centric corporate world? 

Answer 5: There are a few things women must always remember to- be confident, to speak out, to believe in themselves and not get offended by the opinion or remarks of others. This generation is career driven and are constantly striving to excel. To achieve this, they should be confident along with having a strong moral conscience. They must network and prioritize  their commitment above all. Lastly, remember to strike a balance between work and personal life. 

Interview with ‘Shemaker’- Rajeshwari Dhore

At Varroc, we Attempt to consistently challenge stereotype and break gender-based prejudices. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we spoke with Rajeshwari Dhore ,who is currently working in the Strategy function of the Electrical business.

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