Alka Mittal, the new CMD of ONGC, has definitely caused a stir as she became the first woman to head India’s largest exploration and production company. On Monday, the department of personnel and training appointed Mittal to the post, 72 hours after it fell vacant when Subhash Kumar retired on December 31. Mittal is currently the director (HR) and has been appointed to the CMD position for six months, or till a regular chairperson is appointed, whichever is earlier. However, the whole incident of Mittal being named as CMD of ONGC surely signifies increasing diversity in the oil and gas industry that still remains one of the last bastions of male dominance.
ONGC has not appointed a full time Chairman and Managing Director until now when they announced Mittal is going to take the seat of CMD. However, this wasn’t the first time when Mittal overcame the barriers of discrimination. This highly qualified lady was also the first woman to join the company’s board on November 27, 2018. Moreover, She played a pivotal role in ensuring a safe working environment for 27,000-strong employees and thousands of contract workers.
Mittal’s year-old experience as the head of skill development in ONGC before becoming director, coincides with the Modi government’s focus on creating a conducive environment at workplace for women and improving corporate governance. Therefore, Mittal introduced a number of programmes and activities to nurture talent and upskill the large workforce of ONGC, especially women. Before becoming director (HR) Mittal had trained more than 11,000 graduate trainees since 2001 on corporate governance as part of their induction programme.
Although Mittal’s position as a CMD being a temporary one, it surely breaks the glass ceiling not only in ONGC, but also in the oil and gas industry. She has become the perfect example of a strong, independent woman, thriving in a male dominated world. Hence, we should applaud her success and at the same time teach our girls to unleash their potential and become a go-getter.