An angry letter from a young lady made JRD Tata change his rule. Ms Sudha Narayana Murthy,wife of Mr. Narayana Murthy, CEO of Infosys, was livid when a job advertisement posted by aTata company stated that “Lady candidates need not apply.” She dashed off a post card to JRDTata, protesting against the discrimination.Following this, Sudha was called for an interview and she became the first female engineer towork on the shop floor at Telco (now Tata Motors). It was the beginning of an association thatwould change her life in more ways that one.There are two photographs that hang in her office wall. Everyday when she enters her office shelooks at them before starting her day.They are pictures of Bharat Ratna JRD Tata and Jamsetji Tata. She says that it is her way of showing gratitude to them.It all began when she was in the final year of her Master’s course in Computer Science at theIndian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bangalore. Like all young girls she was looking forward togoing abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science. She had been offered scholarships fromUniversities in the U.S. She had not thought of taking up a job in India.One day, she saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job requirement noticefrom the famous automobile company Telco. It stated that the company required young, brightengineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc.At the bottom was a small line: “Lady candidates need not apply.”She read it and was very upset. For the first time in her life she was up against gender discrimination.Though she was not keen on taking up the job, she saw it as a challenge. She had done extremelywell in academics, better than most of her male peers. Little did she know then that in real lifeacademic excellence was not enough to be successful.After reading the notice she went fuming to her room and decided to inform the topmost person inTelco’s management about the injustice the company was perpetrating. She got a post card andstarted to write, and addressed it to JRD.“The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basicinfrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals, textiles and locomotives. Theyhave cared for higher education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for theestablishment of the Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprisedhow a company such as Telco is discriminating on the basis of gender.”She was called to Telco’s Pimpri office for the interview. There were six people on the panel andshe realised then that this was serious business.