She came, she saw, she conquered

Coming from a corporate background to work in a remote Sodexo site, Sudipta faced resistance from her parents and had a few apprehensions herself but her desire to work in Sodexo overtook all her fears and she found herself at BALCO, Korba, Chhattisgarh 3 years ago. Armed with an education in Food technology, Sudipta has now taken on the role of an Assistant Manager- HSE manager at the plant.

When she started working, she was the only female employee on site in charge of more than 150 union workers at the plant. Having taken on the responsibility of implementing Sodexo safety standards at the site, she began with trepidation and faced multiple challenges in the form of resistance to change, unacceptance of a female form of authority and decades-old rigid mindsets that did not prioritise safety and hygiene behaviours. There were times when she felt like giving up as it was extremely difficult to bring about change in behaviours and mindset in a reluctant team that didn’t make it any easier for her. However, drawing strength and courage from her past experiences and with support from her seniors at Sodexo, she stood her ground and kept at it. With patience and persistence, she conducted training sessions and updated them with the Sodexo standards for food safety. Eventually, the workers realized she meant business and resistance and dissent changed to respect.

What contributed to her success?

I think it’s the fighting spirit. I think this is what helps women achieve what they want. Not just in an organization but in any environment, one has to stand for what they want and be ready to take on challenges.

Her confidence in herself and her abilities stem from her childhood experiences. Gender inequality is something she has witnessed and battled from a very young age in school, in society etc. She realized education is the only way to grow in life. With supportive parents who encouraged her to be independent, she believes the sky is the limit. She believes education and continuous learning are the keys to growth and continues to learn at every opportunity she gets. Driven by the desire to achieve her goals she interacts with her managers and colleagues across different roles and tries to understand the various aspects of their work while also learning different skills.

The beauty of it all is her ambitions and her motivation to grow is not limited to herself. She motivates the women across other teams to grow as well. She took the initiative to allay the fears of new women recruits at the remote site, inducted them, educated them about Sodexo’s multiple women-friendly measures and policies and ensured they felt safe by opening the doors of her home to them. Several months hence, the women are now settled in their roles and thriving.

I look forward to growing with Sodexo and handling bigger responsibilities. It is a great place to work. Sodexo has provided a very good and safe platform for women who want to grow and be financially independent. I am thankful to Sodexo for selecting me and giving me a chance to learn and grow.

Passionate about her work and learning, Sudipta also enjoys reading and spending time with nature and visits the nearby waterfalls and malls with her friends during her free time. She also likes learning about cooking tips from the chefs and tries her hand at cooking.

Words from her manager, Ajithkumar Panichel

Sudipta is a very bold and resilient lady and I admire her zeal to keep learning and upskilling herself. Being the only and first lady in the team in a remote location did not deter her one bit and she successfully brought about changes in safety behaviours among the workers.

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